U.S. thinks "Guernica" too offensive

Could the White House have done anything else to draw a more dramatic parallel between its policies and those of Nazi Germany? We have no doubts about at whose behest the image was removed.

NEW YORK.- The "Guernica" work by Pablo Picasso at the entrance of the Security Council of the United Nations has been covered with a curtain. The reason for covering this work is that this is the place where diplomats make statements to the press and have this work as the background. The Picasso work features the horrors of war. On January 27 a large blue curtain was placed to cover the work.

Fred Eckhard, press secretary of the U.N. said: "It is an appropriate background for the cameras." He was questioned as to why the work had been covered.

A diplomat stated that it would not be an appropriate background if the ambassador of the United States at the U.N. John Negroponte, or Powell, talk about war surrounded with women, children and animals shouting with horror and showing the suffering of the bombings.

This work is a reproduction of the Guernica that was donated by Nelson A. Rockefeller to the U.N. in 1985.

The United Nations is the world body founded 60 years ago precisely to prevent such horrors as that visited upon Guernica in 1937. "Guernica" obviously belongs there, but in 2003 the U.S. is embarassed by Picasso's iconic image of murderous war, because we are preparing to visit our own horrors on innocent civilians.

The NYTimes now has the story as well.

At the entrance of the United Nations Security Council chamber, a baby blue curtain has been placed over a ruglike copy of "Guernica," Pablo Picasso's powerful antiwar painting. Picasso's depiction of the horrors of war, given by the estate of Nelson A. Rockefeller, who donated the money for the United Nations compound, hung at a site where it often provided a background to televised interviews with ambassadors and other officials. On Jan. 27, when Hans Blix, the chief United Nations chemical and biological weapons inspector, was to appear, microphones were repositioned to accommodate expanded press coverage, diplomats discussing peace were placed in front of Picasso's image. Speaking of the blue curtain and member flags that now decorate the area, Fred Eckhard, press secretary of the United Nations, said, "It is an appropriate background for the cameras."
Uh huh.

Jimlog here. I just can't get away from this item.

I visited the original "Guernica" several times while it was still in the care of the Museum of Modern Art here in New York, and before I lived in the city. It remains a monument, for the world, wherever it hangs.

Today it rests in Spain, but we are not likely to hear an objection to the desecration at the U.N. from the current right-wing Spanish government which backs Bush's war plans.

Oh, and remember our top justice official, Ashcroft, covered the statue of Justice in his own headquarters last year--also with a blue curtain.