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4 April 2007
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i’m using guernica tomorrow in my class–part of an effort to get my students to understand the multiple levels on which a work of art can be realistic. and as i was poking around, getting a little historical background on the painting, i ran across this tidbit:

“A tapestry copy of Picasso’s Guernica is displayed on the wall of the United Nations building in New York City, at the entrance to the Security Council room. It was placed there as a reminder of the horrors of war. . . . On February 5, 2003, a large blue curtain was placed to cover this work, so that it would not be visible in the background when Colin Powell and John Negroponte gave press conferences at the United Nations. On the following day, it was claimed that the curtain was placed there at the request of television news crews, who had complained that the wild lines and screaming figures made for a bad backdrop, and that a horse’s hindquarters appeared just above the faces of any speakers. Diplomats, however, told journalists that the Bush Administration pressured UN officials to cover the tapestry, rather than have it in the background while Powell or other U.S. diplomats argued for war on Iraq.”

i’m not especially surprised that such a request (cough cough) would be made. i am disgusted. and it does confirm most of my opinions of the current president and his administration. i realize that some wars must be fought, but this one was not one of them.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 April 2007 4:27 pm

    i’m surprised you didn’t know about this. and i’m surprised that you’re surprised the current administration would do something like this. also, are you going to properly pronounce the painting (named after the town Gernika [Basque] or Guernica [Spanish] that was bombed by the Nazi’s and the Italians during the Spanish Civil War)? it’s pronounced gerneeka, not gwernica as most people ignorantly pronounce it. also, did you know that the aerial bombardment of Guernica prompted the first usage of the phrase “weapons of mass distruction” in a news article about the bombardment in a London newspaper (I think the Times).

  2. 4 April 2007 8:49 pm

    well, i’m not surprised. as i said. i’m just disgusted. and i can only attribute my not having heard about it at the time to the fact that i wasn’t quite as avid an NPR listener in 2003 as i am now.and i do pronounce it mostly correctly. i probably don’t get the emphasis exactly where it should go, but i’m not a total moron when it comes to spanish pronunciation (even if i can’t roll an r to save my life).and i was vaguely familiar with the fact that this was the first instance described with the phrase “weapons of mass destruction.” i think you told me that. i am wondering, however, if your alternate spelling is a result of the bush administrations co-opting of that phrase… it’s something bush would do.

  3. 6 April 2007 11:32 am

    so, um Seymour…when you say guero, you pronounce it, “Gero,” and not “where-o”?And before you jump on me too, That sentence above was a joke that came from listening to too much Beck. (and yes, I’m fluent in spanish too). ;)

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