Still Fighting Over Guernica

The Christian Science Monitor reminds us that the unrestored Guernica is a still a source of controversy as Basques nationalists push to have the painting displayed in the region it was painted to raise awareness of and conservators fret over the deterioration of the painting:

If he were alive now, Picasso might have posted a multimedia clip of the devastation visited upon the Basque town of Guernica. The bombing raid was a deadly foretaste of the German blitzkrieg in World War II.

Instead, his arresting painting went on display inside a Spanish pavilion at an exposition in Paris. Visitors came and went; the war went on. Within two years, the republic had fallen, and Picasso and his jumbo-sized painting were exiles.

Picasso died before he could see the restoration of democracy in Spain in the late 1970s. By then, “Guernica” had clocked plenty of air miles, including a long stint at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Finally, in 1981, it came home.

At Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum, there’s no doubt which of its paintings is the biggest draw. On a recent morning, 40 people packed into a windowless room to peer at the black-and-white painting and its familiar, tormented figures.

Spain: ‘Guernica’ at Rest (Christian Science Monitor)