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News

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.


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