Following a series of protracted negotiations fraught with tension, the arrival of Guernica in Madrid in September 1981 was hailed as a great cultural and political event at a time which ushered in Spain’s modernisation and democratisation. The transfer of the painting, dubbed by the press as “the last exile” due to its symbolic clout and as an image of caesura in the history of Spain i.e. the Civil War, was lauded by the Spanish government as a feat which signalled the end of the transition to democracy, highlighting how, with the presence of the painting as proof, the Spanish people had gained their freedom.

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