Sunday, February 28, 2021
Iconic tapestry removed from the UN headquarters

Iconic tapestry removed from the UN headquarters

The iconic Guernica tapestry, which has been...

Rafaela Chacón Nardi: poetry exposed to the elements

Rafaela Chacón Nardi: poetry exposed to the elements

It is said that she wrote her first poems between the...

 Avantti Quintet and other groups from Cienfuegos invited to Festival

Avantti Quintet and other groups from Cienfuegos invited to Festival

For the first time since its creation, the Avantti...

  • Iconic tapestry removed from the UN headquarters

    Iconic tapestry removed from the UN headquarters

  • Rafaela Chacón Nardi: poetry exposed to the elements

    Rafaela Chacón Nardi: poetry exposed to the...

  •  Avantti Quintet and other groups from Cienfuegos invited to Festival

    Avantti Quintet and other groups from...


Iconic tapestry removed from the UN headquarters

Iconic tapestry removed from the UN headquarters

El histórico tapiz del “Guernica” es retirado de la sede de la ONU por reclamo de familia Rockefeller

The iconic Guernica tapestry, which has been displayed on the outside wall of the Security Council Chamber since mid-1980s, has been removed from its location after its owner, a member of the Rockefeller family, demanded its return, a United Nations spokesman said.

"Mr. Nelson A. Rockefeller, Jr. who owns the tapestry recently notified the United Nations of his intention to retrieve it," explained spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The piece was returned this month to its owner, the great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, who died in 1937 and is considered the richest American in history.

The "Guernica" tapestry was commissioned in 1955 by Nelson A. Rockefeller, grandson of the oil tycoon who was vice president of the United States and governor of New York.

The UN digital portal recalls that it is a reproduction of the original painting by Pablo Picasso, with dimensions close to seven meters long and more than three meters high, made under the supervision of the painter by the workshop that J. de la Baume-Dürrbach had in the department of Var, in the south of France.

The tapestry, placed on the outside wall of the Security Council Chamber, was inaugurated there on September 13, 1985.

Since then, it only left there for a period of four years, between 2009 and 2013, while the building was renovated, a time during which it was kept by the Rockefeller Foundation.

"We thank the Rockefeller family for lending this powerful and iconic piece of art for more than 35 years," Dujarric said on behalf of the UN.

According to the spokesman, the organization is going to study options to replace "Guernica"  at the entrance of the Security Council, whose members have been officially notified of the work's removal.

"Guernica", which was presented to the public in 1937, is a canvas painted in gray, black and white that evokes the horrors of war and is named after a Basque town bombed on April 26, 1937 by German planes of the Condor Legion, which supported Franco's side during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

The original (oil on canvas, May 1 - June 4, Paris / 349.3 x 776.6 cm) is on display at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

Guernica was acquired from Picasso by the Spanish State in 1937. Due to the outbreak of World War II, the artist decided that the painting would remain in the custody of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York until the end of the war.

In 1958 Picasso renewed the loan of the painting to MoMA indefinitely. Finally, the work returned to Spain in 1981.

    A faithful reflection of an era and of some tragic and dramatic circumstances, the painting Guernica was created to form part of the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 International Exposition in Paris.

    The motive that prompted Pablo Picasso to create the scene depicted in this great painting was the news of the bombings carried out by the German air force on the Basque village that gives its name to the work, known to the artist through the dramatic photographs published, among other newspapers, by the French newspaper L'Humanité.

    Despite this, both the sketches and the painting do not contain any allusion to specific events, but, on the contrary, constitute a generic plea against the barbarity and terror of war. Conceived as a gigantic poster, the large canvas is a testimony to the horror of the Spanish Civil War, as well as a premonition of what was to happen in World War II.

    The chromatic sobriety, the intensity of each and every one of the motifs, and the articulation of those same motifs, determine the extremely tragic character of the scene, which was to become the emblem of the heartbreaking conflicts of the society of our days.

    (Website of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía)

(With information from EFE, United Nations and Museo Nacional Reina Sofía)

Taken from  Cubadebate

English version Hector Hdez.

Rafaela Chacón Nardi: poetry exposed to the elements

Rafaela Chacón Nardi: poetry exposed to the elements

It is said that she wrote her first poems between the ages of seven and eleven and that almost when she was a teenager she ventured to show some of her verses to the outstanding writer and pedagogue Mirtha Aguirre. It was thus that Rafaela Chacón Nardile opened the doors of the literary universe. Born on February 24, 1926, in Havana, she became an outstanding personality in the world of literature in Cuba, "a woman determined to serve, a lady of nobility and extraordinary wisdom", as described by writer Leonardo Depestre Catony.

The outstanding intellectual studied teaching and then a degree in Pedagogy with outstanding results. This led her to work as a teacher at the Normal School for Teachers and in summer courses at the universities of Havana and Las Villas.

But Rafaela had in herself, along with teaching, the gift of literary creation. That is why her first productions appeared in the pages of the Gaceta del Caribe, Noticias de Hoy, El Mundo, El País, and in the magazines Lyceum and Bohemia.

In 1948, at the age of 22, she published her first collection of poems. Some time later she would receive a letter from Gabriela Mistral in which the Chilean praised the work and expressed that it was the best collection of women's poems that had reached her in years. "Its quality and femininity have captured me", commented the Nobel Prize winner in Literature in that letter, whose full text was reproduced in the second edition of the notebook, in 1957.

The work in the lyrical world of the "Rafaela de Cuba", as Mistral called her, accumulated more than 30 titles, which were translated into English, French, Italian, Czech, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Swedish, Esperanto and even Braille.

She designed and developed interesting pedagogical experiences in the field of visual arts, aimed at children with physical limitations. In 1971, under the auspices of Unesco, she founded the Creative Expression Group and, at the request of that international organization, she headed the Reading Promotion Clubs in Cuba, which had a great impact on the education of blind and low vision adolescents.

Tireless in her educational work, Rafaela organized children's workshops for the study of José Martí's work, while encouraging them to practice and learn about the different manifestations of art, considering this an unavoidable part of the education of children and young people.

The outstanding educator and writer was awarded the Alejo Carpentier Medal and other distinctions for her work. When she passed away on March 11, 2001, she left behind a lyrical production that included the following volumes: Viaje al sueño (1948 and 1957 in an expanded edition), Del silencio y las voces (1978), Coral del aire (1982), Una mujer desde su isla canta (1994), Vuelta de hoja (1995), Mínimo paraíso (1997) and Del íntimo esplendor (2000).

With simplicity and talent, always intoxicated with love, Rafaela Chacón Nardi, as highlighted in her work, managed to arouse the praise of leading literary figures such as Mirtha Aguirre, José Antonio Portuondo, Ángel Augier and Nicolás Guillén. The latter compared her to "a star on the night grass, detached from the sky by the storm". The National Poet, placed her next to Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda and María Zambrano, saying that her verses were stark: "poetry in the flower of words, exposed to the elements, like a simple event of nature".

Taken from September 5th

English version Hector Hdez.

Avantti Quintet and other groups from Cienfuegos invited to Festival

 Avantti Quintet and other groups from Cienfuegos invited to Festival

For the first time since its creation, the Avantti Woodwind Quintet from Cienfuegos will perform outside the province, at the "A Tempo con Caturla" Chamber Music Festival, which in 2021 will have an international character. The invitation came from the president of the Organizing Committee of the event, Maikel Iglesias.

With almost twelve years of professional career, this ensemble has included in its repertoire traditional Cuban music themes by authors such as Benny Moré, Miguel Matamoros and María Teresa Vera. Among the international classics performed are pieces by Argentine Astor Piazzola and Tchaikovsky.

In his presentations, Avantti assumes as habitual practice the interaction with other artistic manifestations, so far the visual arts and theater. As it happened during his last concert, last December 20, at the A Cuestas hall in Cienfuegos.

Maikel Iglesias, also a musician and director of the Villa Clara Male Choir, also confirmed the presence in the Festival of the Diademas Flute Orchestra, the Cantores de Cienfuegos Choir and the Chamber Orchestra of this province.

"In the 24 editions of the Festival, the presentations of the  Flute Orquestra  Diademas and the  Cantores de Cienfuegos choir  have been marked by excellence," he said.

So far, musicians and ensembles from Cuba and some 20 countries have confirmed their participation in the Chamber Music Festival "A Tempo con Caturla", to be held online from March 2 to 7, based in the central province of Villa Clara.

"The Organizing Committee of the A Tempo con Caturla Chamber Music Festival and the Hermanos Saíz Association, after analyzing the current sanitary conditions by COVID-19 in the national territory, have decided that the edition corresponding to 2021 will be held online and open for the first time to international participation," reads the announcement.


Fourth-year French horn student Kevin Bouza is the most recent member of the Avantti Classical Wind Quintet.

The twenty-fifth edition of the meeting will be attended by important exponents of chamber music in the world. Maikel Iglesias confirmed the participation of Russian pianist Dmitri Myachin, a graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.

With a solid professional career, Mychian has received important awards in international competitions and is currently the director of the Krylia Art Center in Beijing.

For his part, Italian accordionist and composer Marco Lo Russo, another figure who will be at "A Tempo con Caturla" posted on social networks that "The pandemic has stopped live concerts, but not music and above all it does not stop the warmth of the Cuban people".

This year, the Festival will be dedicated to the 115th anniversary of the birth of Alejandro García Caturla; 35th anniversary of the Hermanos Saíz Association; 100th anniversary of the Latin Institute of Music; 95th anniversary of the founding of the Villa Clara Symphony Orchestra and will celebrate the 80th birthday of Maestro Chucho Valdés, who will be the guest of honor.

Other personalities who will also be honored will be Maestro José Antonio Méndez Valencia, Youth Master Award of the Hermanos Saíz Association on his 70th birthday, and the Maestros Edesio Alejandro and Huberal Herrera, both winners of the National Music Award.

Regarding their participation in the event, the flutist and director of the Avantti Classical Wind Quintet, Carilin Palacios Llanes, said: "We are very proud of it, because we will be sharing with national and international musicians and groups of great quality and prestige. 'A Tempo con Caturla' will represent the launching of our classical music quintet to other stages and audiences, which is very important for us at this stage of our career."

The diffusion of the XXV A Tempo con Caturla Festival of Chamber Music will take place on the platforms Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Telegram; as well as on the television stations Telecubanacán, of Villa Clara, Canal Clave of Cuban television and the radio stations CMHW, FM Stereo and CMBF Radio Musical Nacional.

In the courtyard of the Leblanc Palace, Avantti records a repertoire of 5 pieces for its participation in the Festival A Tempo con Caturla.


(Taken from 5 de Septiembre)

English version Hector Hdez.

Cultural Guide


Meet the city