John Jay College in NYC is in a battle with the Department of Defense over an exhibition of paintings for sale. These paintings aren’t by some radical liberal but by suspected al Qaeda terrorists who are being held at Guantanamo Bay. This has disgusted and outraged families of 9/11 victims who feel this is “a slap in the face”. To add insult to injury, the paintings are for sale! How could this new York City college be so insensitive to victims of 9/11? How could they do this to the families who have suffered enough after the tragedy of 9/11?
WRONG ON EVERY LEVEL!
Thirty-six paintings and sculptures by Gitmo detainees have been on display at John Jay College, but the Department of Defense now wants them destroyed, and administrators at the taxpayer-funded school are bracing for a possible seizure of the works.
In the last few days, more than 350 people rushed to sign a John Jay professor’s online petition protesting a Pentagon policy that would see most of the Gitmo Picassos’ works incinerated.
“Let them know that burning art is something done by fascist and terrorist regimes — but not by the American people,” reads the petition to the Department of Defense, President Trump and the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, among other branches of the military. “Art is an expression of the soul. This art belongs to the detainees and to the world.”
The exhibit, titled “Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantanamo Bay,” opened Oct. 2 on the Upper West Side campus of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Curated by John Jay art crime professor Erin Thompson with archivist Paige Laino and artist and poet Charles Shields, the free exhibit is on view in the President’s Gallery until the end of January.
The exhibition catalog includes an e-mail address for people interested in buying the art.
OUTRAGED FAMILIES OF 9/11 EXPRESS THEIR DISGUST:
Families of 9/11 victims were outraged by the John Jay College art exhibit “Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantanamo Bay.”
“A lot of guys who passed away during 9/11 went to John Jay College, including my brother. I can’t understand how this college in particular would allow such a thing. Where’s their decency? Where’s their dignity? They’re delivering the completely wrong message. It’s denying and softening what happened. What’s next, hanging up the art of John Wayne Gacy?”
— Michael Burke, of The Bronx, whose brother, FDNY Capt. Billy Burke, 46, died on 9/11
“It’s like a slap in the face, completely out of nowhere. Let them display that at Guantanamo, not here. It’s a terrible precedent to set.”
— Jim McCaffrey, of Yonkers, retired FDNY lieutenant whose brother-in-law, FDNY Battalion Chief Orio Palmer, 45, died on 9/11
“I feel completely betrayed. Someone’s job should be on the line for this. Using taxpayer money to hang the artwork of criminals in our college for criminal justice makes my blood boil. This is going way too far and is rubbing our noses in the loss we have to carry with us every day.”
— Rosaleen Tallon, of Yonkers, stay-at-home mother whose brother, firefighter Sean Tallon, 26, died on 9/11
“I think it’s sick and insulting. I was down in Guantanamo and saw these guys in court. [They] have no respect for anyone. They murdered our kids and families and don’t deserve their art shown anywhere. The families weren’t consulted about this at all. It’s like having Hitler do a drawing and hanging his work up. It’s a complete disgrace. [Mayor] de Blasio and [Gov.] Cuomo should be held accountable.”
— Jim Riches (right), of Brooklyn, retired FDNY deputy chief whose son, firefighter Jimmy Riches, 29, died on 9/11
Read more: NYP