- The Washington Times - Monday, March 31, 2014

The State Department wants to plunk down $400,000 in taxpayer money for a camel sculpture at the new U.S. Embassy being built in Islamabad, Pakistan, according to a report Monday.

“Camel Contemplating Needle,” created by American artist John Baldessari, depicts a 500-pound white camel made of fiberglass staring at the eye of an oversized needle, Buzzfeed first reported.

Officials explained the decision to purchase the sculpture in a four-page document justifying a “sole source” procurement.

“This artist’s product is uniquely qualified,” the document states. “Public art which will be presented in the new embassy should reflect the values of a predominantly Islamist country.”

State Department press spokeswoman Christine Foushee told Buzzfeed that the proposed purchase comes from the department’s “Office of Art in Embassies.”

Art dealer Steven Beyer of Beyer Projects said the government reached out to him.

“They approached us,” he told Buzzfeed. “We were, of course, quite surprised.”

He said another copy of “Camel Contemplating a Needle” is on display in Napa Valley, Calif.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide