State Department to Spend $400,000 for Camel Statue in Pakistan

Posted: Apr 01, 2014 1:40 PM

I always love new reports of how the government is spending taxpayer dollars, and this one just really makes me cringe. The State Department is planning to use $400,000 in taxpayer dollars to buy a camel statue for the new American embassy in Islamabad.

Apparently there is a new department program called “Office of Art in Embassies.” This department oversees art purchases for new construction projects at various embassies and consulates. Remember back in December how the department commissioned a $1 million sculpture for the American embassy in London that will open in 2017? Well that was this same program!

According to documents, the 500-pound statue of a camel will be displayed at the embassy in Islamabad, which should open in 2016. The sculpture is of a camel staring into the eye of an oversized needle, as a play on a passage from the New Testament.

These documents also claim that, “Public art which will be presented in the new embassy should reflect the values of a predominantly Islamist country.” Okay, but $400,000 to do so?

It seems that government waste is not getting any better! Perhaps to government bureaucrats the $400,000 in Islamabad is chump change compared to what they spent in London, but there is obviously something wrong with that assumption.