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Thursday, 20 January 2011 05:02

Protest over art censorship will greet Smithsonian chief before L.A. talk Thursday

Protesters carrying two custom-made artworks plan to greet Wayne Clough, the embattled secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, with a "funeral procession for freedom of expression" Thursday, when he has a long-planned speaking engagment at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Acting on Nov. 30, the same day Republican leaders criticized the work as anti-Christian and threatened budgetary consequences for the Smithsonian because it briefly showed ants crawling over a crucifix, Clough ordered the removal of David Wojnarowicz’s 1987 video, “A Fire in My Belly,” from a show about gay-themed portraiture at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. The federal government provides the bulk of the Smithsonian's $1-billion budget.

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