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just be careful

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My husband and I went to Cuba last year, on a people to people tour. It was perfect in almost every way. Our one significant disappointment came when we bought a sculpture from an art gallery just outside of Havana, called La Lavenderia from the artist Rafael Perez Alonso.The total price we were quoted included shipping [the artist would soon be going to Miami, and would ship the piece to us from there]. We paid half the total cost in the studio in Cuba, and were to pay the other half upon shipping.
Once Rafael was in Miami, his agent there called and asked us to send the remainder so the sculpture could be shipped. We did, and eagerly awaited our piece.
When it arrived, it was broken. We saw that the package wasn't even insured. It took us close to 6 months to talk with Rafael, who told us that he didn't pack the sculpture himself, and that he wasn't responsible for the damage. He offered to send us another sculpture, but in resin [the one we bought was bronze], and though at one point he offered to refund the money, he eventually stopped communicating.
There is so much beautiful art in Cuba - just don't buy anything from this artist or this studio, and perhaps be a little more careful than we were.

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