The National Museum in Havana is in the possession of ca. 175 Dutch and Flemish paintings. This accounts for being one of the largest collections of Central and South America. The roots of this collection can be found near the beginning of the 19th century, when the Spanish governor for education bought a couple of new paintings for the newly founded Academy for Art Education. The largest expansion of the collection was during the 20th century, with the help of private collectors.
SCI made an inventory in Havana in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. With the help of two Dutch restorers and flown-in material from Holland, 33 paintings were restored for the re-opening of the renovated National Museum.

After that, two Cuban restorers came to Holland for an additional seminar with the Limburg Conservation Institute (SRAL) in Maastricht, in order to use the extended knowledge in Cuba. This inventory and project has contributed to a better knowledge of the collection and a better, more careful preservation of the paintings.

The ‘discovery’ of the 175 Dutch and Flemish paintings in the museum depots in Cuba attracted a lot of media attention. On the right you can download an article from Tableau Fine Arts Magazine (last page is in English), december 2001.


175 schilderijen
6 years
type of project
assessment, digitalizing, restauration, publication


  • Getty Foundation
  • Instituut Collectie Nederland
  • Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
  • Rijksdienst Voor Het Cultureel Erfgoed
  • Sluis Cigars
  • Nederlandse Ambassade Te Cuba