Picasso's Guernica, was created as a centerpiece for the Spanish
Pavilion of the 1937 World's Fair in Paris.
On April 27th, 1937, a small village in northern
Spain - Guernica - was turned to burning rubble. The Hitler war-machine
attack, undertaken on Franco's behalf, had two purposes: 1) to destroy
Basque resistance to Nationalist forces within that country, and 2)
to demonstrate a new Nazi tactic: the demoralization of civilian populations
via blanket-bombardment. Sixteen hundred civilians were killed or wounded
in the three hour attack.
On February 6, 2003, US Secretary
of State Colin Powell delivered a speech
before the UN Security Council
in which "proof" was offered of the existence of Iraqi weapons
of mass destruction and that those [fictitious] weapons justified war.
Guernica hangs as a backdrop behind a podium
where Security Council members traditionally speak before TV cameras.
Because it was decided the violent antiwar images would conflict with
talk of a new war, the painting was concealed by a large blue drape.
"It's only temporary. We're only doing this until the (TV) cameras
leave," said Abdellatif Kabbaj, the chief UN media officer.
The fully constructed background image displayed
is primarily Guernica - cropped, colorized, and contrast enhanced. Note
what appears to be a classic satanic image and a wailing woman holding
a limp infant in her arms on the left side. This enhanced image is then
superimposed on the Abell 2218 galactic cluster and set as a "fixed"
background. The composite image is intended to display the agony created
by a few distorted and ill minds, set within a universe of unspeakable