|USA||PAINTING OF POPE WITH EYEPATCH, REMOVED AFTER LAWMAKER COMPLAINS|
A painting of Pope John Paul II with an eyepatch was pulled from a state Capitol exhibition after a conservative member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives labeled it anti-Christian, officials said on Friday.
Republican Tim Pope objected to an oil painting scheduled for inclusion in an exhibit of paintings by state artists sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council.
"I stopped and looked at one that had the pope with the eyepatch. I stopped and asked what it meant," Mr Pope said. "Knowing the arts council and their liberal agenda, it looks like the blinded pope. . . . I felt that it was very anti-Christian," he said.
The artist Gail Poole said that the painting was not intended as a religious statement.
The politician said he has been suspicious of the arts council since it sponsored an exhibit of photographs and paintings produced by Amnesty International a few years ago that displayed the horrors of capital punishment.