Picasso's 'Guernica' returns to London

Arifa Akbar@arifa_akbar
Tuesday 24 March 2009 01:00

A full-size replica of Pablo Picasso's anti-war painting, Guernica, was unveiled in London yesterday. The tapestry version on display at the Whitechapel Art Gallery has hung for 24 years just outside the UN Security Council chamber in New York.

Picasso completed his original in 1937 in protest at the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. It was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery two years later.

In the 1950s, the Spanish artist let two Parisian weavers make three exact copies of the picture after realising his original was too fragile to be taken around the world. One copy is now in Japan, another is in France and the third is owned by the Rockefeller family, who loaned it to the UN.

Goshka Macuga, a Polish sculptor is incorporating the textile into an exhibition about the controversy generated by Picasso's painting – now kept in Madrid – that opens at the Whitechapel on 5 April.

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