WASHINGTON — Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn removed a painting in the Capital building Tuesday after it was previously returned to the site by Democratic Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay just hours before.
The painting, “Untitled #1,” was created by St. Louis High School student and was a winner in the annual congressional art competition for Clay’s congressional district. The piece depicts a black St. Louis neighborhood with police officers — depicted as pigs — shooting protesters.
The painting is found to be offensive by law enforcement and Republicans but whose presentation at the Capitol is supported by Democratic lawmakers. It has set off a grudge match among all parties over whether the piece should hang with other district paintings in the Capitol’s Cannon Tunnel.
The painting was originally removed by California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter and. Hunter returned the piece to Clay’s office last Friday, but Clay and Congressional Black Caucus members rehung it Tuesday morning after the Missouri Democrat threatened to file theft charges against Hunter Monday night.
Lamborn’s office confirmed with The Daily Caller the Colorado representative removed the painting after Clay re-hung the piece and returned it to Clay’s office.
“Just yesterday, we honored Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. I could not, in good conscience, continue to walk by a painting that so flagrantly disrespected the brave police officers that protect us here in the Capitol and in our communities across the country,” Lamborn said in a statement to TheDC.
“I decided to continue the protest started by my colleague Congressman Hunter and I hope that permanent action is taken to remove this brazen attack on the brave men and women who make up the thin blue line,” Lamborn added.
*Update: Rep. Clay rehung the painting after Lamborn returned it to his office and had rehung it again later in the evening when Republican Reps. Dana Rohrbacher of California and Brian Babbin of Texas removed it.