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State Department drops $1,000,000 on an embassy sculpture


One lucky artist scored a $1,000,000 paycheck from the U.S. Department of State after its Office of Art in Embassies awarded him the contract for a granite sculpture to be displayed at the new U.S. Embassy in London.

The award was announced Sunday via the Federal Business Opportunities website.  DOS offered this statement on the purchase:

The Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies curates permanent and temporary exhibitions for U.S. embassy and consulate facilities. For the past five decades Art in Embassies has played a leading role in U.S. public diplomacy with a focused mission of cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through the visual arts and artist exchange.  Art in Embassies is a public-private partnership engaging over 20,000 participants globally, including artists, museums, galleries, universities, and private collectors, and encompasses over 200 venues in 189 countries.

The art pieces listed below will become part of the collections at diplomatic posts and in some cases, comply with host city planning requirements that art be incorporated within the design scheme and displayed in public spaces.  These pieces are permanent purchases, not on loan.

The Weekly Standard notes that the State Department also purchased "a bronze sculpture, 'Flowers', by American artist Donald Baechler ($150,000), for the new U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan; a mosaic mural by Miotto Mosaic Art Studio in Carmel, NY ($150,000), for the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil; and a work entitled 'The Black Arch' by Saudi Arabian writer Raja Alem and artist Shadia Alem, for the new U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia."

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