A Portrait of Lucila?

This past April another dealer of Cuban art, Ramon Cernuda, threatened to sue New Times if it published an article (Fake Art, Real Money, April 28) that included Ramos's opinions that six paintings Cernuda exhibited at Art Miami this past January were fakes. Ramos, says Cernuda's lawyer, also threatened to sue Cernuda after the article was published, but did not follow through.

The Sarracinos, who left Cuba in 1994, are taking a different approach to the arrival of adverse opinions. After seeing the Diaz family photo, they are sounding downright conciliatory. Regardless of whether it's a Maribona or an Ortiz, they say they would consider asking the current owner, who lives in Mexico, to sell or even give the painting to Diaz, as long as there is proof it once belonged to his family. What kind of proof would they need? "The photo," Maximo replies.

Only time -- along with the Sarracinos, the Mexican owner, and Diaz -- will tell just where this nostalgic Cuban portrait will gather its dust.

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