Oldest Piece of Indigenous Christian Art to be Shown in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) Cuba has borrowed from the Vaticanís
Missionary Ethnological Museum the oldest piece of indigenous
Christian art of the New World to be exhibited for a year at the
Museum of the City in Havana.
The piece, a wooden lectern or reading stand that
dates back to the late
15th century, was brought to Cuba at the request of Havanaís
Eusebio Leal Spengler to the director the Vatican Museums who
exceptional permission from His Most Reverend Cardinal Tarcisio
Secretary of State.
According to a report by Granma newspaper, the lectern belonged
Bartolome de Las Heras who was Christopher Columbusís Chaplain
second trip (1943-1494) and it was used in the island in the
converting Caribbean tribes to Christianity.
The piece was carved by Cuban indigenous people in the shape of
and inlaid with fine strips of fishbone and tortoiseshell in the
form of a
fan, laid in way to create a chiaroscuro effect.
Archeological findings show that before 1510 Taino groups had
from La EspaŮola and settled in the easternmost region of Cuba,
so that is
likely the place where the oldest piece of indigenous Christian
In December 28 of 1935 Father Ernest Baudouy, of the Roma-based
Augustinians of Assumption Order, donated the stand to the
Missionary Ethnological Museum. The priest had obtained the
Jean Baptiste Morel who had donated it for the Pope.
The lectern, which provides evidence of the changing process
with the intercultural exchange, will be exhibited for a year at
Museum of the City, in Havana, starting February 5.