Smithsonian Could Lose Funding Over Jesus Video
Warhol Foundation wants video restored
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2010 6:21 AM CST
Protesters hold masks of artist David Wojnarowicz while marching in support of his "A Fire in My Belly" that was removed from the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, Dec. 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – The Smithsonian Institution could lose some of its funding over the uproar that ensued after the National Portrait Gallery removed a controversial video. The video by David Wojnarowicz, featuring ants crawling on a crucifix, was pulled after complaints by the Catholic League and some House Republicans. The Andy Warhol Foundation, which gave $100,000 to the Smithsonian for the exhibition featuring the video, says in a letter to the head of the institution that unless the video is restored, future funding requests will be rejected, the New York Times reports.

“For the arts to flourish the arts must be free,” writes the foundation’s president, “and the decision to censor this important work is in stark opposition to our mission to defend freedom of expression wherever and whenever it is under attack.”