Heard on the Hill

Hunter Removes Controversial Ferguson Police Painting from Cannon Tunnel

Controversial artwork was supposed to be on display until summer

The controversial painting had hung with other winners of an annual student art competition. (Lindsey McPherson/ CQ Roll Call)

California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter has removed from display in the Cannon tunnel the controversial student art contest painting of police-community relations in Ferguson, Missouri, that depicts police officers as animals.

A Huffington Post reporter first tweeted a photograph of the empty space and said that Hunter removed it.

Hunter took it upon himself to take down the painting, Washington Republican Rep. Dave Reichert’s office later confirmed. It was sponsored by Missouri Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay, who had defended it.

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 5: A controversial painting by Missouri student David Pulphus depicting police as animals hangs in the tunnel connecting the U.S. Capitol to the Cannon House Office building as part of the annual student art exhibit on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. The painting was selected as the 2016 Congressional Art Competition winner from Rep. William Lacy Clay's district in the St. Louis area. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A controversial painting by Missouri student David Pulphus depicting police as animals in the tunnel connecting the U.S. Capitol to the Cannon House Office building. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reichert, who spent 33 years in law enforcement, had criticized the artwork earlier, and gave Hunter a phone call on Friday after finding out about the removal.

[Reichert Finds Ferguson Police Relations Painting in the Capitol Offensive]

Visitors stopped by the area where the painting had hung in the tunnel between the Capitol and the Cannon House Office Building on Friday. Several were seen pointing to the empty spot.

Neither Clay nor Hunter have returned requests for comment.

The painting, “Untitled #1,” has been hanging in the Cannon tunnel for months and was supposed to remain until the summer. 

The artist is former St. Louis high school student David Pulphus, who depicted his vision of Ferguson’s tense police-community relations. 

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.

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