Ah yes. The statue.
That would be our beloved Attorney General, John Ashcroft, and the offending statue is the one of Justice with her single bared breast. Or perhaps
Law, who has a modest drape around his manly loins (in the interests of equality, they should have bared part of the equipment, though.)
(cut and pasteage)
Cover up: Justice Department drapes semi-nude statues
Tuesday, January 29, 2002
BY CHRISTOPHER NEWTON
WASHINGTON - No longer will the attorney general be photographed in front of two partially nude statues in the Great Hall of the Department of
The department spent $8,000 on blue drapes that hide the two giant, aluminum art deco statues, said spokesman Shane Hix. For aesthetic reasons, he
said, the drapes were occasionally hung in front of the statues before formal events. The department used to rent the drapes, but has now purchased
them and left them hanging.
The drapes provide a nice background for television cameras, Hix said.
ABC News reported that Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered the statues covered because he didn't like being photographed in front of them.
Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Ashcroft has been photographed several times in front of the female statue that represents the Spirit of
Justice. The statue has its arms raised and a toga draped over its body, but a single breast is completely exposed.
The other statue, of a man with a cloth covering his midsection, is called the Majesty of Law.
Both statues were installed in the 1930s when the building was finished, according to the Justice Department.
Hix said the Justice Department bought the drapes to avoid having to rent them every time the agency had a formal event. The drapes cost about $2,000
He also said Ashcroft was not involved in the decision.
``The attorney general was not even aware of the situation,'' he said. ``Obviously, he has more important things to do.''
The Great Hall is an ornate, two-story room that the department uses for ceremonies and special speeches.
In the past, snagging a photo of the attorney general in front of the statues has been something of a sport for photographers.
When former Attorney General Edwin Meese released a report on pornography in the 1980s, photographers dived to the floor to capture the image of him
raising the report in the air, with the partially nude female statue behind him.
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer joked about the controversy to reporters Tuesday. ``If anybody has any nude statues, bring them to my
office; I'll review them,'' he said.