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SPAIN: SPAIN REFUSES TO LEND PICASSO WAR PICTURE TO FRANCE

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Nearly 60 years after a notorious bombing raid in the Spanish Civil War inspired Pablo Picasso to paint "Guernica", the great symbol of pacifism has become embroiled in the row over France's resumption of nuclear testing in the South Pacific. Art experts in Madrid have refused to lend the painting to France for an exhibition, claiming it is too fraqile to be moved. The decision has been interpreted here as a political gesture in retaliation for France's resumption of nuclear testing. The Spanisch press has argued that it would be inappropriate to lend the icon of the pacifist movement to France while President Chirac continues his nuclear policy. The row cast a brief shadow over President Chirac's visit to Madrid last week. At a press conference with M. Chirac, Felipe Gonzalez, the Spanish Prime Minister insisted the decision rested solely on the question of whether the painting can withstand another journey. He said the Government would not be swayed by the emotions of public opinion. But the Spanish authorities are expected to delay making a final ruling on the politically sensitive issue until after elections next March, by which time the French nuclear tests will be completed. The exhibition in France, entitled Face to Face with History is to take place at the end of next year. Already bruised by the outcry against nuclear testing the French press has seized on the squabble as fresh evidence that France has become an international pariah. "Spain should not be too miserly in this affair." Le Figaro said yesterday. French art experts have been quick to point out that Picasso painted Guernica not as an idictment of war but to protest against a specific event during the Spanish Civil War: the slaughter of civilians in the Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937 by Nazi warplanes on behalf of General Franco. The French point out that the painting made a far longer trip in 1981 when it was moved from New York's Museum of Modern Art to Madrid in accordance with Picasso's wishes. The French press has also reminded readers that Picasso painted Guernica in Paris where it was first exhibited in 1937.

dc:identifier
043-00039892
dc:source
Reuters News
dc:title
SPAIN: SPAIN REFUSES TO LEND PICASSO WAR PICTURE TO FRANCE
dc:type
MovingImage
mhub:credit
Reuters
dc:description
Nearly 60 years after a notorious bombing raid in the Spanish Civil War inspired Pablo Picasso to paint "Guernica", the great symbol of pacifism has become embroiled in the row over France's resumption of nuclear testing in the South Pacific. Art experts in Madrid have refused to lend the painting to France for an exhibition, claiming it is too fraqile to be moved. The decision has been interpreted here as a political gesture in retaliation for France's resumption of nuclear testing. The Spanisch press has argued that it would be inappropriate to lend the icon of the pacifist movement to France while President Chirac continues his nuclear policy. The row cast a brief shadow over President Chirac's visit to Madrid last week. At a press conference with M. Chirac, Felipe Gonzalez, the Spanish Prime Minister insisted the decision rested solely on the question of whether the painting can withstand another journey. He said the Government would not be swayed by the emotions of public opinion. But the Spanish authorities are expected to delay making a final ruling on the politically sensitive issue until after elections next March, by which time the French nuclear tests will be completed. The exhibition in France, entitled Face to Face with History is to take place at the end of next year. Already bruised by the outcry against nuclear testing the French press has seized on the squabble as fresh evidence that France has become an international pariah. "Spain should not be too miserly in this affair." Le Figaro said yesterday. French art experts have been quick to point out that Picasso painted Guernica not as an idictment of war but to protest against a specific event during the Spanish Civil War: the slaughter of civilians in the Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937 by Nazi warplanes on behalf of General Franco. The French point out that the painting made a far longer trip in 1981 when it was moved from New York's Museum of Modern Art to Madrid in accordance with Picasso's wishes. The French press has also reminded readers that Picasso painted Guernica in Paris where it was first exhibited in 1937.
dc:subject
politics
arts, culture and entertainment
mhub:temporal-coverage
1996-10-14