Friday, August 11, 2006

Click against the bombs

Click here to read about and join Res-publica's campaign in support of an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East.

I have the privilege to live in the city, Madrid, where the universal symbol of civilian populations victim of armed conflicts, Picasso's Guernica, is exhibited. But this summer, Guernica can easily be renamed Beirut.

Periodically in Spain, there is a fairly trivial (if you ask me) domestic political controversy over whether Guernica should be transported and exhibited in the Basque Country. Experts say that it is not feasible given the size and age of the masterpiece that has already gone through a lot of damage in many successive moves in the 1930s and 40s. I think, anyway, that if Picasso's Guernica should be transported anywhere, it should not be in the Basque country but in contemporary Guernicas. In Baghdad, in Beirut, in Sarajevo a few years ago, etc.

(If you have the opportunity, don't miss the display of Goya's Tres de Mayo almost side-by-side with Guernica at Madrid's Reina Sofia Art Centre; and Picasso's stunning duel with Velazquez and Goya at the Prado Museum. Both unrepeatable exhibitions marking the 25th anniversary of the "return" of Guernica to Spain will close on 10 September (Prado) and 25 September (Reina Sofia) respectively. Hurry up!)

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