Artist brings life to destroyed bridge in Ukraine

STORY: Upon a bridge split in two parts in the Ukrainian town of Irpin, Mexican artist Roberto Marquez is capturing the suffering of war by re-creating the world-famous “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso.

“What is happening that I can consider real important – bring it to the piece and hopefully people will understand that I am opposed 100 percent to what is happening. So the Guernica thing is a good example. And what will always be is a tragedy event, Picasso protested, and I also am doing pretty much as he did.”

In the original painting, Picasso reflected on the bombing of the eponymous Spanish town by Nazi troops in 1937.

Marquez says war is not new, but holds out hope that one day in the future, it ends.

“I have something to say about it and I picked the Guernica story because it is the only one that tells us so close to what is happening now and that happened in 1937 and it is happening again. And hopefully, it does not happen in the future.”

In early March, images of local residents sheltering under the bridge, which Ukrainian forces destroyed to slow the Russian advance, went viral. The maneuver made it difficult for thousands of people to get to safety.

Ukraine seized back full control of the town at the end of March.

Local resident Tetiana Sliusarenko believes transmuting the pain of war into art can help to heal.

“For us, it is very important because we can transform our pain and bring onto this canvas and in a way redeem ourselves before people who died. And we are feeling better.”

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 and calls its actions a "special military operation". Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression. More than 5 million Ukrainians have fled abroad since the start of the invasion.

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