Could a work of art have saved the U.S. from Colin Powell’s WMD speech to the U.N. Security Council and the eventual Iraq War? What if Nelson Rockefeller’s loan to the U.N. of the Guernica tapestry had not been shrouded the day of Powell’s visit? What if Powell and Tenet (C.I.A.) Chief had paused in front of the tapestry and appreciated Picasso’s message? Would the silent screams of the Guernicans have brought out Powell’s better angels? But art appreciation was not to be. When a German officer visited Picasso’s apartment in WW II occupied Paris, he asked if the Guernica photo was something the artist had done. “No” replied Picasso, “Something you did.”
Note: Background of the Tapestry. NYTimes: For more than three decades, a 25-foot long canvas tapestry replica of “Guernica” hung outside the United Nations Security Council chamber, the backdrop for speeches by diplomats who were working to avert the atrocities depicted in Picasso’s iconic antiwar painting. But now the tapestry is gone, repossessed by its owner, Nelson A. Rockefeller Jr., whose family had commissioned the tapestry in the 1950s and lent it to the United Nations in 1985.
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