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Priceless Artworks Stolen from Havana’s Masonic Monument Valued at Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Masonic Memorial Monument in Santiago de Las Vegas, in the Boyeros district of Havana, which housed works of art inventoried as National Heritage of Cuba and more than a hundred documents and historical objects, was allegedly looted by neighbors close to the place, according to a complaint released by Cubanet.

Eduardo Leal Noda, founder of the place and resident in the US since 2019, estimates that the damage to his property – which was now in the care of his son – ranges between $500,000 and $800,000.

He says that among the looted items there are paintings, porcelain and bronze works, as well as original letters from José Martí, Antonio Maceo and Máximo Gómez.

As revealed by the historian in statements to journalist Camila Acosta, the robbery with force and search of the home was discovered on March 20 and was allegedly perpetrated by the neighbors in the background.

Eduardo Leal’s son, Oreste Leal Rodríguez, made the complaint on April 5 at the Santiago de Las Vegas police station, where he accused three people of allegedly breaking the wall of his home and taking over part of the house, stealing both personal objects and inventoried works.

However, so far the police have not arrived at the scene, something that the Cuban resident in the United States attributes to the fact that those involved are close to the government, and points out that the CDR is even located in his home.

Eduardo Leal Noda and his children denounce that the defendants decided to open an entrance from their house and currently occupy and live in those parts of the residence that were awarded to them.

Leal Noda explained that he had to leave the island due to permanent harassment from State Security, although he previously managed to remove several works of art, documents and historical articles from the country, with prior authorization from Masonic and Heritage institutions, although there were still many valuable items in his home.

Eduardo Leal Noda inherited that heritage from his family.

In 1982, Leal Noda placed a marble plaque at the entrance of the home in question on the portal of the house to honor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was named “Benemerite of Cuban Freemasonry” on July 4, 1947 by his great-grandfather who was Grand Master and Sovereign Grand Commander of Freemasonry in Cuba.

The aforementioned source specified that this had the consequence that at the age of 22 he was expelled from the University of Havana when he was in his fourth year of medical school and prevented him from being initiated into Freemasonry, something he finally achieved in the United States after going into exile.

However, in January 2016 the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Masonic Memorial Monument – presided over by a bronze statue of the former American ruler – was inaugurated in the family home with the presence of the then cultural attaché of the US Embassy in Cuba and officials of the provincial leadership of the Ministry of Culture, as well as leaders of Freemasonry on the island.

As of the writing of this note, other details are unknown about the ongoing police complaint, which Eduardo Leal and his family residing in Cuba allege that the police have neglected.

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