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Published On: Mon, Jul 30th, 2012

Fate of Churchill bust proving to be problematic for Obama administration

Back in January 2009 President Obama’s return of Churchill’s bust was a story that was widely reported at the time, but now appears to be a problem for the President and his staff.

President Barack Obama shows Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom a bust of Sir Winston Churchill in the private residence of the White House, July 20, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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Dan Pfeiffer writes on whitehouse.gov that ” there’s been a rumor swirling around about the current location of the bust of Winston Churchill…The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.”

Instigated by a Charles Krauthammer article and his follow-up statement which proclaimed that the British Embassy said in a statement issued just a few hours later, “the bust now resides in the British ambassador’s residence in Washington D.C.”

As the British Embassy explained in 2009, the bust “was lent for the first term of office of President Bush. When the President was elected for his second and final term, the loan was extended until January 2009. The new President has decided not to continue this loan and the bust has now been returned.”

The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush’s tenure. (More on the 2009 story here)

Pfeiffer countered this story, describing it as a “rumor,” providing “a picture of the President showing off the Churchill bust to Prime Minister Cameron when he visited the White House residence in 2010,” he wrote. “Hopefully this clears things up a bit and prevents folks from making this ridiculous claim again.”

Except that the photo does nothing of the sort. The Churchill sculpture shown in the photograph is a different copy — given to President Lyndon Johnson, kept in the White House collection for half a century and displayed in the White House residence. The Oval Office Churchill — the one in question, the one Pfeiffer says never left the White House — did leave the White House, was returned to the British government, and sits proudly at this very moment in the British ambassador’s residence.

Critics are targeting every flaw and error the Obama administration makes and Winston Churchill appears to be the unlikely center of the current controversy.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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