Picasso masterpiece recreated in the Bogside

Picasso's famous Guernica painting is the inspiration for a stunning new piece of artwork on the wall of The Museum of Free Derry.

Entitled ‘Iraqnica’, the vivid artwork, inspired by the ongoing war in Iraq, covers a vast space on the wall of the museum itself and is a thought-provoking piece that hits out against the war in Iraq.

Feile ‘07 artist, Jim Keys, says of the new painting: “Murals are not just a symbol of the past but they also have resonance in the present and the future, too.

“Picasso’s Guernica is renowned for its capacity to create empathy as it depicts people being slaughtered. In this particular case, it’s a vibrant, relevant piece, drawing attention to the massacres that continue as part of the Iraq war.”

The original Picasso painting depicted the Nazi German bombing of Guernica in Spain by twenty-four bombers during the 1937 Spanish Civil War. It’s estimated that more than 1,000 people were killed and many more injured.

Mr. Keys added: “We first got the idea for our version of Guernica from an artist called Russ. As soon as we saw it three years ago, we thought to ourselves that it had great potential as a mural. We were just waiting for the right moment to do it - and now is that moment.

“The original is black and white but we decided to do this one in military colours to highlight its significance. It will be of interest to anyone coming to see the museum, particularly Americans or English visitors to the city, as they are the people directly touched by the horrors of the Iraq war.

“Hopefully, it will provoke some discussion and debate about the current situation in Iraq, and that’s what is needed more than anything now - discussions that could bring about change,” he added.

The painting, which was started on Tuesday, is due to be officially launched on Monday, July 30. You can see this innovative piece of art for yourself at The Museum of Free Derry at Glenfada Park.