UN apologizes for attributing Guernica bombing to Spanish Republicans

Then-US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley walks past a replica of "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso at the UN headquarters in January 2018 (AFP Photo/Drew Angerer)

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The United Nations has apologized to Spain for having mistakenly attributed the devastating 1937 bombing of the town of Guernica to Spanish Republican forces, a spokesman said Monday.

The aerial bombardment of the town was actually carried out by Nazi German and Italian Fascist forces that were supporting their Spanish ally Francisco Franco.

"The United Nations were made aware over the weekend that the UN Gift Management website incorrectly attributed the historical atrocities at Guernica, depicted in the tapestry by Pablo Picasso, to the Republic of Spain," Stephane Dujarric said.

"The Republicans were the victims, not the perpetrators," he said, terming it a "horrendous mistake."

"We regret the error and extend our apologies to the people and Government of Spain," Dujarric said.

The website is down for maintenance so the necessary correction can be made and a "full review of the website contents" conducted, he said.