Anti-Police Painting to Be Removed Permanently From Capitol Tunnel

January 14, 2017

A painting that depicts police officers as pigs and has been hanging in a tunnel of the Capitol will be permanently removed next week.

The painting was part of a congressional art competition and hung in the tunnel between the Cannon House Office Building and the Capitol. The artwork was sponsored by Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D., Mo.), who represents much of the St. Louis area, including Ferguson, Missouri. The painting by a then-high school student from Clay's district depicts police officers as what appears to be pigs pointing guns at black men.

The artwork has been criticized by police groups nationwide. It received national attention after Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) personally removed the piece last week and delivered it to Clay's office. Clay then rehung the painting on Tuesday, only for it to be removed by another congressman, rehung by Clay once more, and removed again by two more lawmakers. Clay put up the artwork again, where it has stayed. However, someone placed a pro-police flag above it recently.

Rep. Dave Reichert (D., Wash.) filed a complaint on Wednesday over the artwork with the office of the Architect of the Capitol, who notified House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that it would come down for good, the Hill reported. It was determined that the painting violated the art competition rules, which prohibit "subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature."

The painting will be removed on Tuesday.