Ever since the Conservatives came to power in 2006, the number of paintings on display in federal buildings and embassies has dwindled.
According to media reports the government has allowed 3,700 contracts for artworks in federal ministries to expire between 2006 and now.
Sandra Douha writes in Ottawa's Centretown News:
For example, in the lobby of the Lester B. Pearson Building, which is home to the department of foreign affairs, there used to be two paintings on the wall by Alfred Pellan.
The twin paintings represented the east and west landscapes of Canada. They were large, colourful, and eye-catching.The iconic paintings had been on the wall since the building opened its doors in 1973. That all changed in June when Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird ordered the paintings taken down and replaced with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth.
Baird said he made the decision in respect to the arrival of Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, to Ottawa at the time.There’s nothing wrong with hanging a portrait of the Queen, but there are many copies of her portrait in Canadian embassies.There’s only one copy of these original masterpieces by the Quebec artist – who is considered one of the most important painters of Canada.This decision by Baird is a reflection of what the Conservatives think about art.
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