Art: 40 years ago the arrival of 'Guernica' in Spain

Picasso work to be on display for free at Madrid's Reina Sofía

10 September, 17:38

    Guernica by Pablo Picasso Guernica by Pablo Picasso

    MADRID - Spain is marking the 40th anniversary of the operation that allowed the most famous painting by Pablo Picasso, Guernica, to come to the country.

    The work was transferred to Spain between September 9 and 11, 1981, from MoMA in New York, where it had been kept for nearly four decades.

    Picasso painted Guernica - inspired by German air raids on the eponymous city situated in the Netherlands during the Spanish Civil War - in 1937 in Paris, commissioned by the official government of the Spanish Republic.

    Two years later, when the Spanish Civil War ended with the victory by General Francisco Franco just prior to the start of WWII, the painting was transferred to the United States after having gone on display in various European cities.

    Only after the end of the Franco dictatorship and the start of the current democratic era (and after the death of Picasso in 1973) did Spanish authorities manage to get Guernica transferred to Spain.

    Today the painting is on display at the Reina Sofía museum in Madrid, which on the day of the anniversary will be open to the public for free to allow visitors to view the work of the Spanish painter.

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