About Our People Legal Stuff Careers

A high school student's painting will be removed from the Capitol following controversy


A high school student's painting that depicts police officers as pigs is expected to be removed from the walls of the Capitol following a week of national controversy, CNN reported.

The painting, which was one of the winners of last year's congressional art contest, has been deemed to violate the House Office Building Commission's rules, one congressman said.

It is expected to be removed after the federal holiday.

Here's an image of the artwork:

Rep. Dave Reichert  sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol expressing his concerns of the painting. He said, "The artwork's depiction of law enforcement as animals shooting citizens is both sensationalist and gruesome in nature."

He also said that the artwork violated the rules of the competition.

"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," he said.

Former high school student David Pulphus produced the artwork, which was selected as a winner by Rep. William "Lacy" Clay. The painting was inspired by the civil unrest after a police officer shot and killed a teenager in Ferguson. 

Clay, D-Missouri, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, urged House Speaker Paul Ryan to reconsider efforts to remove the painting, which they said violated the First Amendment.

They wrote in a joint letter, "“We believe that removing this work - which has been on display for six months as one of more than 400 winning high school entries selected from each congressional district through the annual Congressional Art Competition - would be a violation of First Amendment free speech rights.”

Ryan described the painting as "disgusting."

Debate over the painting's placement began last week when Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California removed the artwork himself. The following Tuesday, members of the Congressional Black Congress rehung the painting, which was removed again soon after. 

Read Comments
Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linked In List Menu Enlarge Gallery Info Menu Close Angle Down Angle Up Angle Left Angle Right Grid Grid Play Align Left Search Youtube Mail Mail Angle Down Bookmark