SHARE
COPY LINK

BUSH

Surreal: George W. Bush paints Spain’s ex-PM

Former US president George W. Bush has paid homage to his political ally and good friend former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar by painting a portrait of him and posting it on Instagram.

Surreal: George W. Bush paints Spain's ex-PM
Aznar was given a private tour of the Dallas art show by Bush himself on Wednesday, capturing the moment in a photo posted on the former US leader’s Instagram profile.

Aznar has had to share the limelight with 30 other political leaders who Bush has portrayed in his art exhibition “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy”.

Spain’s former Prime Minister was given a private tour of the Dallas art show by Bush himself on Wednesday, capturing the moment in a photo posted on the former US leader’s Instagram profile.

The pair have reportedly been close friends since their terms in office, when Aznar supported the US’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and sent over Spanish troops in support.

Photo: Stephen Jaffe/AFP

Other world leaders featured in Bush’s oil painting collection include Russia’s President Putin, former French President Jacques Chirac, Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The politician-turned-painter has been slammed by some art critics for using copyrighted images from Google and the Associated Press to base his paintings on.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLL

Poll: Spaniards divided on whether to bomb ISIS strongholds

Spaniards are divided on whether Spain should take part in the international military campaign in Syria against the Islamic State, with just over half, 54, percent, opposed, a poll published on Sunday showed.

Poll: Spaniards divided on whether to bomb ISIS strongholds
One of the Spanish soldiers sent to help train Iraqis at the Basmaya camp in Baghdad. Photo: Ali Al-Saadi/AFP
About a third, 35 percent, are in favour of joining the military campaign in Syria and the rest were undecided, according to the poll published in El Mundo newspaper.
   
The poll — carried out after the November 13 suicide bomb and shootings in Paris — also found that 83 percent of Spaniards believed a Paris-style attack could happen in Spain, suggesting that national security could emerge as a theme for a December 20 general election.
   
Another poll published Saturday in the conservative daily La Razon showed 69 percent of Spaniards wanting Spain to help France “in its fight against Islamist terrorism”.
 
By contrast with the poll in El Mundo the survey showed 49.3 percent opposing “bombing the terrorists in Syria”, compared with 43.6 percent in favour.
   
Several thousand people marched Saturday in Madrid against Spanish involvement in the Syrian conflict as conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stressed he would not rush into a decision.
   
“No to war,” chanted the demonstrators who gathered rallied outside the Reina Sofia museum in the Spanish capital. The organisers estimated their number at around 6,000.
   
With elections looming, Rajoy's government has been holding off on any decision on whether Spain will join France, the United States and others in airstrikes against Islamic State strongholds in Syria.
   
“Decisions have to be well thought through, as in any aspect of life,” said Rajoy, who added Madrid was in touch with its allies on a clear plan of action.  
 
 Leftist opposition parties have voiced opposition to Spanish military involvement in the Middle East.
   
The leader of the far-left grouping Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, backs putting the issue to a referendum.
   
Rajoy is mindful of how events unfolded in March 2004 under his Popular Party predecessor, former conservative prime minister Jose Maria Aznar. Aznar, who had backed the US intervention in Iraq a year earlier, was voted
out of office days after Islamic extremists killed 191 people in bombings on Madrid trains.
   
Aznar's stance on Iraq was in stark contrast to that of the public in a traditionally pacifist country.