THE United Nations has apologised after it wrongly attributed the bombing of Guernica to Spanish Republican forces, who were in fact the victims of the attack.
The UN website that records gifts donated to the organisation said the 1937 painting was created by Pablo Picasso as an ‘artistic protest against the atrocities of the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.’
In truth, Nazi German and fascist Italian forces carried out the aerial bombardment of the Basque town in support of their fascist Spanish ally, General Francisco Franco.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the error was a ‘horrendous mistake.’
He added: “The Republicans were the victims, not the perpetrators. We regret the error and extend our apologies to the people and Government of Spain.”
Bombers dropped over 45,000 kilos of explosives on Guernica during the 1937 attack, reducing the town of 5,000 people to rubble.
The description on the UN website is in reference to a tapestry of the painting that was commissioned in 1955 by former US vice-president and tycoon Nelson A. Rockefeller.
It has hung on a wall at the entrance to the UN Security Council chamber since 1985.
The tapestry was created under the supervision of Malaga-born Picassso in a workshop in the south of France.
The UN has since removed the offending description from its website.