Vital Interest? US Taxpayers to Spend $400,000 for a Camel Sculpture In Pakistan

I always hear the same talking points from politicians when I asked why the U.S. spends $50 billion a year in foreign aid. Most of them say: “well $50 billion is a small fraction of the budget.”


Americans are living paycheck to paycheck more than ever. And to add insult to injury, our government in all of its infinite wisdom is using $400,000 of taxpayer money to buy a camel sculpture at the new American embassy in Pakistan.

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How can this sculpture be justified?

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The 500 lb. fiberglass, aluminum, stainless steel, acrylic and painted statue, which is not even a one-of-a-kind piece, was first reported exclusively by Buzzfeed.

The work, titled “Camel Contemplating Needle” is by American artist John Baldessari and is a play on the New Testament phrase about the difficulty the wealthy have entering the kingdom of heaven.

Uh, I don’t think they get what Jesus was trying to say.

The document, published by Buzzfeed, explains how the art piece fits into the new embassy in Islamabad. “This artist’s product is uniquely qualified,” the document explains. “Public art which will be presented in the new embassy should reflect the values of a predominantly Islamist country,” it says. (Like the Bible, the Qur’an uses the metaphor of a camel passing through the eye of a needle, reported Buzzfeed.)

In a statement, State Department press spokeswoman Christine Foushee said the proposed purchase comes from the department’s Office of Art in Embassies. In new construction projects, she said, a small part of the total funds, about 0.5%, is spent on art purchases.

Art dealer, Steven Beyer of Beyer Projects, said he was approached by the government about the project. He pointed out that while some Americans may find it frivolous for the government to pay for art, others will find it important. “It depends on what part of the public you are in,” he said. “If you go to the museum and enjoy art and are moved by it, things cost what they cost.”

And this one costs $400,000 in taxpayer money (Money we borrow from China).

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