Democratic, Republican congressmen feud over Capitol painting

Democratic lawmakers are feuding with Republicans over a painting that is on display in the Capitol Building. The clash began last week after some GOP members criticized the artwork as discriminatory towards police.

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Missouri, filed a report against Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, on Tuesday after Hunter personally unscrewed the painting from the Cannon tunnel, arguing that its depiction of police as pigs in the picture was anti-police.

Related: Social reactions to the controversial Capitol painting

Controversial Capitol painting
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Controversial Capitol painting
SHAME on every member of the racist, anti-police @OfficialCBC for supporting hate in proudly displaying a hate painting. #BlueLivesMatter
Democratic messaging c. 2017: Make America Sick Again If not for us you’d have to watch football Re-hang the cops as pigs painting!
202 225 2460. Lacy Clay Congress Cop hater re-hangs painting depicting cops as pigs. Call this Democrat and let your feelings be known!
Democrat Rep. Lacy Clay (MO) hangs painting depicting police as pigs in US Capitol. Democrats, REALLY!! #Pathetic
@LacyClayMO1 You are a disgusting racist and should be censored! Take down that disgusting painting! #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter
Put the frickin painting back on the wall, don't confirm that horrible racist, and get your kids vaccinated. I've had it .
Reminder that Republicans aren't concerned about the statues honoring racist white dudes in the Capitol, just a pai…
Thank you for removing racist painting from the Captiol, @Rep_Hunter. However, it's back on display. Make that painting a Hoffa. #SemperFi
Today is #LawEnforcementAppreciationDay & @LacyClayMO1 proudly displays anti-cop racist painting in capital. @thebestcloser #Closernation
@cvpayne Burn it. If they can burn the flag, we can burn their racist painting.
Lacey Clay one of the most racist politicians ever has hung a painting of police with pig heads in Capital. Getting out of hand. Hate crime.
@Rep_Hunter Thank's so much for taking down the disgusting anti cop painting in Capitol. Dems hanging it back up is equally disgusting.
As someone suggested, in addition to the anti-police painting at Capital Hill, I'm offering an anti-Islam Mohammad cartoon to be hung there.

Clay was joined by members of the Congressional Black Caucus in pressing theft charges against Hunter after removing the artwork on Friday.

"He had no right to take that picture down," Clay told the Washington Post. "It's thievery."

"The rehanging of this painting for public view represents more than just protecting the rights of a student artist, it is a proud statement in defense of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees freedom of expression to every American," the CBC said in a press statement.

SEE ALSO: Salem State University cancels art exhibit featuring KKK painting

The painting, created by high school student David Pulphus, earned its spot in the Capitol earlier this year after winning Clay's congressional art competition. However, neither Clay nor other U.S. representatives participated in the approval of the artwork, which was judged by an panel of art professionals.

"As it came down -- it can go back up," Hunter's chief of staff Joe Kasper stated in a email sent on Friday. "There's nothing appropriate about a painting that depicts police officers at pigs. Representative Hunter removed the painting and returned it."

The controversial painting was removed later on Tuesday by Rep. Doug Lamron, R-Wisonsin, who reportedly stated, "It doesn't belong here."

As of now, the painting has been restored to its post in the Cannon tunnel.

Related: Images of the Capitol through history

U.S. Capitol building through history
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U.S. Capitol building through history
The U.S. Capitol Building is lit at sunset in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Engraved view of Washington D C and the United States Capitol Building from the White House, drawn by W H Bartlett and engraved by H Wallis, Washington D C, circa 1800-1850. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
View of the east front elevation of the United States Capitol Building, Washington DC, 1846. (Photo by John Plumbe/Stock Montage/Getty Images)
Capitol of the United States, Washington DC, 1855. Illustration from the History and Topography of the United States of North America, Volume II , by John Howard Hinton, published by Samuel Walker, (Boston, 1855). (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
1859: The Capitol Building in Washington, DC, seat of the United States Congress, at the time of the construction of its dome. (Photo by William England/London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)
United States Capitol Building, Washington DC, 1895. (Photo by Geo. P. Hall & Son/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 5, 1915: The East portico and dome of the United States Capitol Building as seen on March 5, 1915 in Washington, DC. (Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - Circa 1950s: Capitol Building Washington D.C.. (Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 13: Exterior view of the Capitol at time of President Truman's meeting with Congressional leaders on day after FDR's death. (Note flag at half-mast). (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - 1956: A general view of the East portico of the United States Capitol building in 1956 in Wahsington, DC. (Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 01: President Ronald Reagan giving speech from podium with Capitol Building looming behind him at rally for Balanced Budger Amendment. (Photo by Diana Walker/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Cherry blossoms frame the U.S. Capitol dome March 24. The cherry blossoms around Washington's mall and tidal basin are an annual sign of spring in the nation's capital.
A wide-angle feature picture of the United States Capitol dome taken June 19, shows the cast-iron dome, designed in 1854 by Architect of the Capitol Thomas Walter. Initial construction began in 1856. A rare media tour of the dome was given today.
The United States Capitol building is shown at sunset January 6, 2001 moments after [U.S. Vice President Al Gore] read the certified results of the November 7, 2000 U.S. presidential election declaring [Republican Texas Governor George W. Bush] the next president of the United States. The counting of the electoral vote took place inside the House of Representatives chamber.
CAPITOL BUILDING, WASHINGTON DC, MAY 16, 2016: A DigitalGlobe satellite image of the United States Capitol building in Washington DC. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 08: The Capitol Building is pictured on November 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. Americans today will choose between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

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