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Picasso’s anti-war “Guernica” tapestry was removed from UN headquarters after being exhibited for decades

For nearly 36 years, a tapestry depicting Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” adorned the entrance wall of the Security Council’s meeting room at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. However, the tapestry, a harsh memory reminiscent of the horror of war, was subsequently deleted and returned to its owner.

The tapestry was commissioned by Nelson A. Rockefeller Jr. in 1955 and lent to the United Nations in 1984, Secretary-General Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti said in a letter to the President of the Security Council. Viotti added that Rockefeller recently “notified the United Nations of his intention to retrieve it,” and said the tapestry was returned earlier this month.

“Thanks to the Rockefellers for lending this powerful and iconic work of art for over 35 years,” UN spokesman Stephen Dujaric told CBS News.

Picasso's Guernica Life-size Tapestry
Picasso’s “Guernica” tapestry has been on display for decades at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It was rented here to the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 2009.

Dunkit Wood / Getty Images


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “It’s scary and scary that it’s gone,” as he passed through an empty wall on his way to qualify as President Biden’s new UN Ambassador.

He raised his arm and lamented, “We worked hard to keep it here, we tried but did not succeed.”

Picasso painted the original work in 1937. It depicts the bombing of the Spanish city of Guernica by Nazi Germany during the Spanish Civil War in clear black and gray tones. The bombing killed hundreds of people and destroyed many of the city’s historic buildings. This painting is drawn through a nightmare image of humans and animals screaming.

The artwork, considered one of the most powerful anti-war paintings in the world, is on display at the Queen Sofia Center for the Arts in Madrid.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will speak at UN Headquarters in New York in front of a tapestry reproduction of Picasso's anti-war murals. "Guernica,"
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will speak at UN Headquarters in New York on February 1, 2017, in front of a tapestry reproduction of Picasso’s anti-war mural “Guernica.”

Mary Altafer / AP


Stephen Schlesinger, a Fellow of the Century Foundation who wrote a book about the creation of the United Nations, told CBS News that the Rockefellers had commissioned a “Guernica” tapestry after Picasso refused to sell the original.

“Putting a copy just outside the Security Council meeting room always seemed very appropriate as an anti-war statement,” Schlesinger said.

“This may be an opportunity to ask the Rockefellers to rethink the Secretary-General, the UN Security Council, or even the UN General Assembly,” he added. “Or, at least, come up with a well-thought-out alternative that reflects the UN’s deep-seated opposition to aggression around the world.”

In the letter, Viotti said the United Nations Art Commission would consider new art options to be exhibited outside the conference room.

Picasso’s anti-war “Guernica” tapestry was removed from UN headquarters after being exhibited for decades

Source link Picasso’s anti-war “Guernica” tapestry was removed from UN headquarters after being exhibited for decades

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