When a 25-foot tapestry replica of Pablo Picasso’s anti-war painting “Guernica” was removed by the United Nations a year ago by its owner after more than three decades there, diplomats mourned the sudden departure of a work of art that profoundly affected the organization’s core purpose way reflected.
“It’s terrible, terrible that it’s gone,” General Secretary António Guterres said at the time.
Nelson A. Rockefeller Jr., a business executive and scion of the family that commissioned and owned the tapestry, made no public statement.
Now it turns out that the disappearance was temporary. The tapestry was rehung on Saturday at its longtime home outside Security Council chambers under a new order announced by Mr. Rockefeller and the US National Trust for Historic Preservation.
They said in a statement that Mr. Rockefeller is the tapestry’s custodian on long-term loan to the United Nations and that it would be donated to the National Trust, which “will look after the coordination of its display elsewhere in the United States.” States and around the world.”
Mr. Rockefeller said he erred a year ago in not explaining the tapestry’s removal, which was carried out to clean and conserve it – always with the aim, he said, of putting the tapestry back on public display, not only at United Nations, but elsewhere.
“Put simply, there were some misunderstandings at the time,” he said in a phone interview. After the tapestry was removed, Mr. Rockefeller said he wrote to Mr. Guterres “to explain what my intention had been.”
“I can certainly understand how the UN and the Secretary-General have developed a close and strong connection with her,” he said.
Mr. Guterres expressed his thanks in a Explanation published by his office, citing a letter he wrote to Mr. Rockefeller after learning in December that the tapestry would be returned. “This is very welcome news as we end a difficult year of global hardship and strife,” he said.
The tapestry is a reproduction of an original work painted by Picasso in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. After a 42-year residency at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the painting was moved to a museum in Madrid in 1981.
It depicts the bombing of Guernica, Spain, by Nazi aircraft, killing or wounding a third of the city’s population. The painting’s haunting images of people and animals have made “Guernica” a powerful symbol of the atrocities of war.
Mr. Rockefeller, the son of Nelson Rockefeller, the former vice president and governor of New York, said he’s always maintained his own strong affinity for tapestry ever since his father helped him write an eighth-grade term paper about it.
After his father’s death in 1979, he said, “It was very important to me to continue the association with ‘Guernica’ by one day having stewardship.”
Mr. Rockefeller is the founder and CEO of Border Signal, Inc.a technology company that uses data science to help other companies find and hire talent.
The United Nations has always had a special relationship with the Rockefellers, one of the richest families in the nation, who donated the money to purchase the 16-acre property on Manhattan’s East Side this is the global headquarters of the organization.
United Nations officials never replaced the tapestry with other artworks outside of the Security Council, an area known as “stakeout” because that’s where diplomats and dignitaries often speak to reporters and television cameras — and where “Guernica” was located for more than 35 years the visual backdrop.
Last year’s sheer wall, it seems in hindsight, was a hint that “Guernica” could return.
Mr Rockefeller said the United Nations would remain the tapestry’s home base. While the details of the trip for temporary exhibitions elsewhere have yet to be worked out, he said, “It’s important to me that this reaches a broad, i.e. diverse, audience around the world.”