Off the Record

Greta: The State Dept. ditches $1M sculpture. Can't we taxpayers just get a refund?

'Off the Record,' 3/11/15: The good news: The State Department passes on $1 million embassy sculpture that taxpayers will never even see. The bad news: A new sculpture project takes its place

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Let's all go "Off the Record" for a minute. Check this out. You, the taxpayer, almost bought something like that.

Who is the sculptor? Sean Scully. And how much? One million bucks. Do you have that kind of extra cash? I think not.

In fact, back in the December, 2013, when the State Department awarded Scully the $1 million contract to decorate the US embassy in London with a sculpture, I raised hell right here. We just don't have that kind of money. I said it was unconscionable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: The state department has extra cash lying around, how about spending on necessities like security at the embassies? Does the word Benghazi ring a bell? Or how about just not spending the money? Our government needs money. We're in debt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Apparently, my watching your money was not well-received by the artist. What did he do? Some name-calling, calling Fox News -- and I guess he means me -- "Right-wing lying bigots like the National Front," which is, incidentally, a racist group. Name-calling? Well, I guess is he a tad-bit testy, don't you think?

Oh, well, but there is good news. The State Department is now ditching this $1 million sculpture, but not because of the huge price tag, but because it's too heavy for the installation site. But alas, there is bad news. The artist says he will do another piece of art for the London embassy.

My thought: How about a refund? I'm all for art, and I want our American buildings to look really nice, but a million dollars is way out of line, especially for taxpayers who will never even see this sculpture. By the way, I would like to know who authorized this. It's about time we get names. That's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.