Cuba set for invasion of US visitors at festival of art

President Obama and Raul Castro are burying the hatchet after their Panamanian accord last weekend to signal further that the half-century cold war between the US and Cuba is over. It means one thing for Havana – the Americans are getting ready to descend in their droves.

Havana, Cuba.

Havana  is getting set for an invasion of US curators and museum directors to coincide with Cuban Art festival next month. Image by Alessandro Caproni / CC BY 2.0

And not just ordinary American tourists - there will plenty of museum directors, collectors and curators arriving in the Cuban capital for the festival of Cuban art.

In town for the 22 May start of the country’s 12th Biennial, will be some of the world’s most important dealers – but this time the difference is that Americans will be leading the way. “It should be a stampede,” says Cuban artist Mario González.

Even before the more recent love-ins between the presidents, the two countries were organising easy access for artists to travel in a fresh bid to establish a cultural and social rapprochement.

Senor Gonzalez, more popularly known as Mayito, is one of the local artists who has aroused American collectors’ interest, according to the London Independent.

For six years, he has been one of three artists who have collaborated together – the others are Niels Moleiro and Alain Pin who are collectively known as “The Merger”. Their works are among the hottest hitting the international art market from the island. One single piece, called Sex Machine, sold for $125,000 at last year’s Miami Art Basel fair.

Mayito says most Cubans are now hopeful that “this time it is really going to happen” with each country completely embracing its neighbour.

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