Picasso’s anti-war tapestry back at UN HQ in New York

Influential Spanish painter Pablo Picasso’s famed “Guernica” tapestry has returned to the UN Headquarters in New York after a year-long absence.

The tapestry was restored at its original place outside the Security Council Chamber on February 5, reports Xinhua news agency.

The owner of the tapestry, Nelson Rockefeller, Jr., retrieved it in February 2021.

No reason was given at the time.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in February 2021 that the world body chief and others went to great lengths to keep the tapestry in the UN, but in vain.

“I am grateful that the tapestry will be able to continue to reach a broader segment of the world’s population and magnify its ability to touch lives and educate,” said Rockefeller.

Guterres stated in a letter dated December 15, 2021 to Rockefeller: “This is most welcome news as we end a difficult year of global hardship and strife. The Guernica tapestry speaks to the world about the urgent need to advance international peace and security.

“We are honoured to serve as careful stewards of this one-of-a-kind iconic work — as we draw inspiration from its message.”

The tapestry of Picasso’s 1937 anti-war painting “Guernica” was commissioned in 1955 by former US Vice President and governor of New York State Nelson Rockefeller and offered on loan to the UN in 1984.

It had been outside of the Security Council since 1985.

The original grey, white and black “Guernica” painting is exhibited in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.

The “Guernica”, a large 1937 oil painting on canvas, is one of Picasso’s best-known works, regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history.

It portrays the suffering wrought by violence and chaos. Prominent in the composition are a gored horse, a bull, screaming women, a dead baby, a dismembered soldier, and flames.

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