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UN lends its woven Picasso’ to reopen The Whitechapel’

PUBLISHED: 10:53 27 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:14 05 October 2010

THE long-awaited extension to the famous Whitechapel Gallery opens in London’s East End next month with a woven replica of Picasso’s anti-war painting Guernica. The replica on loan from UN headquarters in New York takes pride of place in the newly-refurbished gallery which has undergone a £13 million transformation into Europe’s newest major hub of culture

By Victoria Huntley

THE long-awaited extension to the famous Whitechapel Gallery opens in London’s East End next month with a woven replica of Picasso’s anti-war painting Guernica.

The replica on loan from UN headquarters in New York takes pride of place in the newly-refurbished gallery which has undergone a £13 million transformation into Europe’s newest major hub of culture.

GHETTO UNIVERSITY

The expansion incorporates the former Whitechapel Library next door, which itself had a worldwide reputation as London’s university of the ghetto’ where leading writers and political activists of the day from the East End’s Jewish population did their research in the early 20th century.

“The expansion means the gallery can stay open all year round,” explained director Iwona Blazwick.

“The East End is one of the world’s crucibles of culture, with its energy and cosmopolitanism.

“This part of London has incredible culture and retains its high profile on the world stage.”

’WHITECHAPEL BOYS’

The Whitechapel’ was opened in 1901 to bring art to the working masses of East London.

Its first exhibition when it reopens is The Whitechapel Boys,’ reflecting the old library’s rich history of radical thought with paintings by East End Jewish artists David Bomberg, Jacob Epstein and Mark Gertler, writings by Stephen Winsten and John Rodker, sketches by Alfred Wolmark and poetry by Isaac Rosenberg.

Doors open to the public on Sunday week, April 5.


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