'Guernica' tapestry long on view at UN, no longer is

Former US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, walks by the tapestry of Pablo Picasso's Guernica, outside the Security Council, on Jan 2, 2018.

UNITED NATIONS: A large tapestry depicting Pablo Picasso's fabled "Guernica" that hung outside the UN Security Council chamber for decades to remind diplomats of the risks of war has returned to its owner, Nelson Rockefeller, Jr, officials said Thursday.

Commissioned in 1955 by Nelson Rockefeller and woven by the French workshop Jacqueline de La Baume-Dürrbach, the tapestry had been on loan to the world body since 1984.

Presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors and diplomats attending Security Council meetings passed by it on the way to the chamber of the most important UN body responsible for peace in the world.

The United Nations did not explain why the Rockefeller family wanted to take the tapestry back.

The Rockefeller Foundation had no immediate comment.

On Thursday, the wall on which the tapestry hung -- depicting the bombing of the Spanish city of Guernica on April 26, 1937 by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy -- was empty.

Member countries likely will now debate who will have the right to hang a meaningful work by one of their famous nationals.

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