Pentagon battles college trying to sell art by ‘terrorists’
NEW YORK POST – ISABEL VINCENT
A New York City college is at war with the Pentagon over exhibiting and helping to hawk artwork created by suspected al Qaeda terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.
Thirty-six paintings and sculptures by Gitmo detainees have been on display at John Jay College, but the Department of Defense now wants them destroyed, and administrators at the taxpayer-funded school are bracing for a possible seizure of the works.
In the last few days, more than 350 people rushed to sign a John Jay professor’s online petition protesting a Pentagon policy that would see most of the Gitmo Picassos’ works incinerated.
“Let them know that burning art is something done by fascist and terrorist regimes — but not by the American people,” reads the petition to the Department of Defense, President Trump and the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, among other branches of the military. “Art is an expression of the soul. This art belongs to the detainees and to the world.”
The exhibit, titled “Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantanamo Bay,” opened Oct. 2 on the Upper West Side campus of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Curated by John Jay art crime professor Erin Thompson with archivist Paige Laino and artist and poet Charles Shields, the free exhibit is on view in the President’s Gallery until the end of January.
The exhibition catalog includes an e-mail address for people interested in buying the art.