Guernica commemorates 1937 bombing

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MADRID -- Representatives from cities that have suffered bombardment joined survivors from Guernica Thursday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Basque town's destruction by German and Italian planes during the Spanish Civil War...

"That event is a mirror in which the injustice of today's bombardments are reflected, allowing us to sympathize with the 30 wars still raging on our planet," said Juan Jose Ibarrtexe, president of the Basque regional government, who met with several of the 200 survivors at the event.

The bombing of Guernica in 1937 gave a foretaste of the aerial blitzes of World War II several years later. The attack shocked the world, its impact captured in Pablo Picasso's black and white abstract painting "Guernica" which hangs in Madrid's Reina Sofia Museum and is one of Spain's biggest tourist attractions.

Commemorative ceremonies began with the inauguration of an exhibition on the attack, while floral tributes were laid at the town's cemetery and a documentary on the bombing was screened.

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