At long last, the painting in the Capitol that featured police officers as menacing pigs aiming their weapons at black protesters has been removed — and reportedly for good.
According to Fox News, the latest removal of this painting, which had been removed and then rehung several times in the past month, was performed by the Architect of the Capitol, the official agency responsible for maintaining the U.S. Capitol Complex.
Moreover, it was agency head Stephen T. Ayers who reportedly made the final call after having been persuaded by Minnesota Rep. Dave Reichert, a former county sheriff.
The painting first appeared in the Capitol building last month when Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay selected it for display after it won first prize in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District as part of the United States Congressional Art Competition. More than 200 members of Congress and 50,000 high school students have participated in the program, according to The St. Louis American.
The display of the painting led to a savage back-and-forth in which one congressman would remove the painting and another would rehang it. After the second removal of the painting last week, tensions rose so high that Clay reportedly issued an indirect threat against his peers.
“We may just have to kick somebody’s a** and stop them,” he exclaimed after Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn yanked the anti-cop painting from the Capitol hallway.
As Reichert accurately pointed out to Ayers, however, the competition’s rules strictly prohibited “subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature,” Fox News reported. This was why ultimately the Architect of the Capitol removed it.
Of course Lacy was again quite displeased.
“By his unprecedented and unconstitutional action … the Architect of the Capitol acted to suppress the free speech rights of my constituent,” he said in a statement, according to Roll Call. “They have also sent a chilling message to young Americans that their voices are not respected, their views are not valued and their freedom of expression is no longer protected in the U.S. Capitol.”
He has since hung the painting in his private Capitol Hill office, where hopefully it will remain, completely out of sight.
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H/T The Right Scoop