70 years ago, 24 bombers from the Nazi ‘Condor Legion’ dropped their loads on the Basque town of Guernica/Gernika in Spain. From the bombs and the resulting fires, hundreds of civilians were killed.
It was immortalised by a Picasso mural named after the town. He was actually working on it before 26 April, for the Paris Exposition and was shown on the Spanish Pavilion during July of that year.
Ten days ago, I was looking at the painting, which now hangs in the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. Until 1981, it had never been in Spain, although prints and photographs were clandestinely produced. A full size copy is in the United Nations building (it was covered over in 2003 when Colin Powell was giving a press conference to promote the invasion of Iraq).
As powerful works of art go, Guernica is incredible, and full of the horrors of war.