WASHINGTON—Capitol Hill officials removed from Cannon tunnel Tuesday the controversial painting that depicted police officers as pigs, a spokeswoman for Washington Republican Rep. David Reichert confirmed to The Daily Caller.
The painting titled “Untitled,” a winner of the annual Congressional Art Competition from the Missouri Congressional District of Democrat Lacy Clay, angered law enforcement last month when it came to light in late December, six months after it was hung up in the Capitol with other winners from members’ districts.
“The U.S. Capitol is a symbol of freedom, not censorship. The young artist chose his own subject and the painting will not be removed,” Clay told The St. Louis Dispatch over two weeks ago before the Capitol architect decided otherwise.
There are no details as of now as to where the painting was taken or if the piece was returned to Clay’s office.
The painting became a point of contention between Clay and Republicans lawmakers last week when California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, and Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin removed the painting from its site and returned it to Clay’s office only to have it returned to be hung back up by Clay himself.
Reichert, a former Seattle sheriff, first spoke out against the painting, sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, with the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan, noting that the piece violated the competition’s rules by displaying “subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature,” which is prohibited.
Ayers agreed with Reichert and the Speaker and ordered the painting removed from Capitol last Friday.
“This painting hung in clear defiance to those rules and was a slap in the face to the countless men and women who put their lives on the line everyday on behalf of our safety and freedom,” Reichert said in a statement last week.