Sunday, April 26, 2009
Democracy Now! remembers what happened on April 26, 1937:--
Seventy-two years ago this Sunday, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, on April 26th, 1937, the Basque town of Guernica was carpet bombed by Fascist Italian and Nazi German forces. Three-quarters of Guernica was destroyed, and as many as 1,600 civilians were killed. Boise, Idaho is home to one of the largest Basque populations in the United States. We speak with a survivor of the Guernica bombing and with the director Basque Museum and Cultural Center in Boise.
The Image Above: a tapestry of the Pablo Picasso painting, Guernica, 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. Commissioned and donated by Nelson Rockefeller, it is not quite as monochromatic as the original, using several shades of brown. 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.