Cuban makes statues using tobacco leaves

February 6th, 2012 - 1:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Arnold Schwarzenegger Havana, Feb 6 (IANS) A Cuban sculptor uses tobacco leaves to create wonderful pieces of art, and has made life-size as well as miniature sculptures of Winston Churchill, Che Guevara, John F. Kennedy, Charles Chaplin, Luciano Pavarotti and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

With his unique work, Janio Nunez Leal has pieces in many private collections around the work, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Nunez, who worked as a “torcedor” or cigar twister in many cigar factories, first took up the idea of becoming a tobacco sculptor in 1994.

His work will be on display at the 14th Habano Cigar Festival to be held Feb 27-March 2.

Tourists wanting to know more about Cuban culture and tobacco are flocking to his recently opened studio-workshop in Boca Ciega beach in Havana.

In 2000, Nunez met Celia Sandy, granddaughter of former British prime minister Winston Churchill, who was known for his love for Cuban cigars.

Nunez then created a life-size sculpture of Churchill.

He says his sculptures are made only of tobacco leaves, using only an idea without any mold or frame.

His pieces, however, must be well preserved at 18-24 degrees Celcius and a relative humidity of 60-70 percent.

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