As a working Artist I was deeply troubled to hear the following news. The reproduction of Picasso's famous antiwar mural, Guernica, hanging at the entrance to the United Nations Security Council... has been censored. Considered to be Modern Art's greatest statement against the horrors of war, officials at the U.N. had the mural covered with a curtain so as to prevent embarrasment for United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, as he gave a speech that advocated the bombing and invasion of Iraq. As Maureen Dowd, writing for the New York Times, wrote, "Mr. Powell can't very well seduce the world into bombing Iraq surrounded on camera by shrieking and mutilated women, men, children, bulls and horses."
The censoring of Piccaso's mural is illustrative of Art's immense power. It is a civilizing force that erases national boundaries and strengthens human solidarity. In particular Piccaso's masterwork draws a laserbeam focus on the madness and inhumanity of war, a message that transcends the barbarity suffered by the small Basque village of Guernica in 1937. As Piccaso himself once said, "Art is a lie that tells the truth." The Artist's powerful mural still speaks the truth to the people of the world, so much so that the powerful feel compelled to censor it."
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