HAVANA (REUTERS).- A Swiss art collector has donated nine works by artists ranging from Pablo Picasso to Camille Pissarro to Cuba's National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuban media reported on Tuesday.
Gilbert Brownstone plans to donate a total of 120 works of art to Cuba and has dedicated the donation to five Cuban agents imprisoned in the United States for their role in the 1996 shooting down of two planes piloted by anti-Castro Cuban exiles, Communist Party newspaper Granma said.
Cuban officials awarded him the Medal of Friendship on Monday.
"Thanks to Gilbert, we are acquiring essential names of the vanguard that were not included in our patrimony," Culture Minister Abel Prieto said.
The nine works are by artists including Picasso, Pissarro, Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miro, Roy Lichtenstein and Andre Masson, Granma said.
Brownstone, a gallery owner and former curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, has donated through the Brownstone Foundation art works to other museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris.
The five Cuban agents in U.S. prisons are known in Cuba as the "Five Heroes" and are viewed by the Cuban government as unjustly jailed. Cuba says they were trying to stop terrorist acts by infiltrating Cuban exile groups in Miami.
They were convicted of various charges and imprisoned after Cuban fighter jets shot down two planes piloted by the Cuban exile group Brothers to the Rescue as they flew near Cuba.
(Reporting by Nelson Acosta; edited by Jeff Franks and Mohammad Zargham)