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Art Activists Call for Gaza Ceasefire with Giant Banner in Madrid

Campaigners Use Picasso's 'Guernica' as Inspiration

In response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, environmental and human rights activists staged a protest outside Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum, which houses the iconic anti-war masterpiece “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso. The demonstration aimed to highlight the plight of civilians caught in the fighting and urge for a ceasefire.

Global campaign group Greenpeace and the Unmute Gaza movement, which supports journalists reporting from the war zone, unfurled a banner featuring a drawing by U.S. artist Shepard Fairey based on a photo by Gazan photographer Belal Khaled. The image depicted a child crying for help, alongside messages reading “Can you hear us?” and “Ceasefire now.”

The protest took place against the backdrop of Israel’s military operation in Gaza launched in October 2023, following an attack by Hamas, the Palestinian group governing the enclave. Both sides reported heavy casualties, with Israel stating about 1,200 Palestinian deaths and 250 hostages taken, while Gaza health authorities estimated over 25,000 Palestinian fatalities and significant infrastructure damage.

Picasso’s “Guernica” stands as a poignant reminder of the human cost of war, serving as a powerful symbol of the activists’ call for peace.