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WASHINGTON (AP) — A student’s painting that divided members of Congress for its depiction of Ferguson, Missouri, has been removed from its Capitol Hill display, this time perhaps permanently.

Several Republicans had complained about the painting, which shows a pig in a police uniform aiming a gun at a protester, and even took down the artwork temporarily. The lawmakers argued that the painting violated rules for a national student arts competition by showing subjects of contemporary political controversy or of a sensationalistic or gruesome nature.

In August 2014, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, setting off weeks of protests.

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Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers informed lawmakers late Friday that the painting would be removed. On Tuesday, with House lawmakers back home for the week, the painting was gone.

The painting was among hundreds completed by high school students that are featured in a tunnel leading to the Capitol and had been hanging for months. But some conservative media outlets called for its removal and Republican lawmakers repeatedly took it down and returned it to Rep. William Lacy Clay’s office. Clay put it back up, saying its removal violated a constituent’s First Amendment rights to freedom of expression.

That constituent, David Pulphus, co-wrote a column with Etefia Umana, published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that said they surely would have been arrested if they had dared to enter the Capitol and removed the statue of slavery advocate John C. Calhoun, a vice president and senator from South Carolina who served before the Civil War.

Umana and Pulphus wrote that anger toward the painting was misplaced and fails to address critical issues pertinent to conditions in African-American communities.

“Art imitates life, but no critic has asked the fundamental question the painting begs: Why would a young student with hope, promise and purpose perceive our community and the police in such a manner?” the pair wrote.

The column concluded with: “David’s only comment is, ‘The art speaks for itself.’ It has spoken loudly. Now, who will protect American civilization, including our Constitution and democracy?”

Clay called the decision arbitrary and insulting. He said the painting would have a “place of honor in my Capitol Hill office.”

“This is now about something much bigger than a student’s painting. It is about defending our fundamental First Amendment freedoms which include the right to free expression; even when that creativity is considered objectionable by some, and applauded by others,” said Clay, who promised to seek a quick reversal of the decision.

Ayers wrote a letter to Clay saying that he consulted with industry experts and reviewed the painting itself before determining that it didn’t comply with the House Office Building Commission’s prohibitions for the Congressional Arts Competition.

Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash., said the painting hung in clear defiance of rules established for the arts competition and was a slap in the face to law enforcement officers. His letter to the architect of the Capitol initiated the painting’s removal.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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9 thoughts on “Artwork Depicting Ferguson Removed From Capitol Display

  1. Honestly on said:

    Cave n!@@ers are liars, bastards and thieves. They will soon get what they deserve to be driven to p!ss, sh!t and blood. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  2. Honestly on said:

    The lying and racist cave n!@@er darren wilson will answer for murdering that kid. Karma will rip the recessive apes entrails out. They should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  3. STOPTHEKILLINGS on said:

    OF COURSE THEY WOULD REMOVE THIS PAINTING. IT IS OK IF WHITE PEOPLE, OH YEAH THAT SLAVE OWNER ARE EMULATED IN STATUE BUT A PAINTING BUY A BLACK CHILD? OH NO WE CAN’T HAVE THAT AROUND. WE HAVEN’T SEEN ANYTHING YET. WHITEY IS GOING TO TRY TO SET US BACK 200 YEARS, LEAST WE FORGET OUR PLACE….THIS FIGHT HAS JUST BEGUN….

    • While you’re at it, why don’t you start with the more than 50 public buildings, bridges, roads, dams, and highways named after Robert Byrd? He was a Democrat who served as a U.S. Representative from 1953-1959 and as a U.S. Senator from 1959-2010. Before his career in politics, Byrd created a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in West Virginia. Byrd became a KKK recruiter and was elected the top officer (Exalted Cyclops). He once said: “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” You hypocrite. Why didn’t Obama erase Byrd’s name from history? Oh I forgot, the democrats are your masters. You vote for them every November, you re-elect democrat criminals and democrat crack heads.

  4. Michael Brown was a low life thug who had just robbed a convenience store, tried to wrestle a gun from Police Officer Darren Wilson, NEVER HAD HIS ARMS UP, was shot in self defense. Obama and Holder tried their hardest to indict Wilson, they knew it weasel defense. It set off weeks of violence and destruction.

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