Congress has spent $400,000 on a sculpture for the new American Embassy in Pakistan called “Camel Contemplating Needle.”
The modern art piece depicts a camel looking at the eye of a needle, illustrating the New Testament verse in Matthew in which Jesus describes a rich man having trouble entering the kingdom of Heaven. The Qur’an has a similar story.
Officials wrote in the purchase document, “This artist’s product is uniquely qualified,” adding: “Public art which will be presented in the new embassy should reflect the values of a predominantly Islamist country.”
The Foundry released a video late last year that featured similar purchases made by Congress, of whose budget deliberations House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said: “The cupboard is bare. There’s no more cuts to make.”
The purchases included a rock sculpture given to the London embassy priced at $1 million, artwork for the Veterans Affairs offices (purchased for the sole purpose of using up remaining budget funds) valued at $562,000, and “Utility Pole Dancing Performance Art” costing $10,000.