Liberal Group Wants Smithsonian Secretary to Step Down

A liberal group is calling for the Smithsonian Secretary to step down over his decision to remove an art exhibit

By Monique Hayes
|  Friday, Jan 28, 2011  |  Updated 10:15 PM EDT
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Liberal Group Wants Smithsonian Secretary to Step Down

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

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A liberal group is calling for the Secretary of the Smithsonian, Wayne Clough, to step down, reported the Associated Press.

Clough is under attack for removing a short video clip from an exhibit displayed at the National Portrait Gallery.

The clip, by the late artist David Wojnarowicz, was part of a work called “A Fire in My Belly,” and showed a small crucifix lying on the ground with ants crawling over it. It was a part of and exhibit titled, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.”

The video came under attack from conservative members of Congress and a Catholic group immediately. They both deemed the material inappropriate.

On Nov. 30 of last year, the clip was removed because museum officials felt that the attention it was receiving distracted from the overall exhibit. 

Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, wants Clough to be removed when the Smithsonian Board of Regents meets on Monday.  In addition to Keegan’s group, the board of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum complained that Clough bowed to political pressure and in an open letter said that bowing to the pressure harmed the Smithsonian's integrity.

A group called Art Positive plans to protest at the Smithsonian on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

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