The announcement saddened many UN officials in New York: a gigantic tapestry that reproduces the famous painting Guernica, which graced the entrance to the Security Council since 1984, will be reclaimed by the Rockefeller family. The UN Secretary-General himself was moved by the loss of this twenty-foot-long tapestry that reminds world leaders of the horrors of war. According to Antonio Guterres, he and his team did everything they could to maintain it, but to no avail.
Frame Guernica, Pablo Picasso denounced the bombing of the city in 1937 by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Initially, Nelson Rockefeller wanted to acquire the original painting, but the painter refused. In 1955, he finally commissioned a tapestry from the work. This will now go back to the Rockefeller Foundation, not knowing if it will be sold or displayed.
Since 1984, this tapestry must have seen many negotiations. She was even censored by americans : February 5, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell must announce the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The press conference should be held in front of this tapestry, but the symbol is not terrible for the United States since it is aboutannounce going to war in front of a work that symbolizes the horrors of war. Reproduction of Guernica Therefore, it was covered with a blue veil, officially so that TV channels have a plain background.
The tapestry arrived at the UN after a donation from the billionaire’s widow. When world leaders or diplomats entered the room, they couldn’t miss this iconic representation of the ravages of war. In a way it reminded them of their obligation to seek peace above all else..
The UN will not demand the return of work
Now the place is empty, the new American ambassador to the UN has specified that the United States would not request the return of the tapestry to the Rockefeller heirs. Subsequently, the artistic committee of the United Nations must decide what work will replace the tapestry.
A few years ago, Mexico and South Africa had fought to be able to exhibit one of their works: a painting for Mexico, a Mandela statue for South Africa. The UN leader had found a place for both of them, because these works of art are strategic. Also, France can try to place one. For its part, the UN may seize the opportunity to find another symbol. It will be interesting to see which one.