The reasons for his withdrawal or those that have finally led to his return remain unknown, but as of this Saturday the universal symbol against barbarism and the cruelty of war returns to preside over the entrance of the United Nations Security Council in New York. The iconic tapestry of Guernica will once again remind leaders and diplomats of the pain and devastation that wars cause, what Pablo Picasso intended when he captured on canvas the bombing of April 26, 1937 by Nazi fighters on the Basque population of Guernica (Vizcaya, Basque Country) .
“I am grateful that the tapestry can continue to reach a larger segment of the world’s population and thus magnify its ability to affect lives and educate,” the owner of the piece, Nelson A. Rockefeller Jr, said in a UN statement. , great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller -the richest American in history-. Last year, neither the United Nations nor the Rockefeller family explained the reasons that led to the withdrawal of the tapestry, commissioned in 1955 by Nelson Rockefeller, the patriarch’s grandson, from the French workshop of Jacqueline de la Baume-Durrbach, with the authorization of the Spanish artist. .
When it was removed, the UN was very diplomatic and issued a heartfelt statement thanking “the Rockefeller family for lending this powerful and iconic work of art for more than 35 years.” Now, with the return to the United Nations, it was Rockefeller who said he was “deeply grateful” for the UN’s custody of the piece, although, just as he did when he took it away, he again did not explain the specific reasons for its return.
“The return is very welcome news as we end a difficult year of global adversity and conflict,” said UN Secretary General António Guterres in a letter to Rockefeller dated December 15. “The Guernica tapestry communicates to the world about the urgent need to advance international peace and security,” Guterres points out.
The historic piece was loaned in 1984 to the United Nations, which a year later installed it in one of the most significant places of its headquarters, at the doors of the room where its highest decision-making body meets. The original version of the painting is in the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.
In its 75-year history, the UN has amassed a vast collection of paintings and sculptures with messages against violence and for world peace. An artistic ensemble that brings together as many anecdotes as a diversity of styles, such as a stained glass window by Marc Chagall or murals by Portinari or the Spanish José Vela Zanetti.
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
subscribe here to newsletter of EL PAÍS America and receive all the informative keys of the current affairs of the region
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.