Bill to sell Pollock painting withdrawn

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 21, 2011 5:40 PM

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Mural is safe.

Rep. Scott Raecker, R-Urbandale, withdrew the controversial bill that would force the University of Iowa to sell its $140 million Jackson Pollock painting.

Raecker introduce the bill Feb. 16, but said the issue surrounding the potential legislation has become “so polarized that reaching consensus is unlikely.”

“I’m a firm believer in the legislative process, and further discussion of the sale of the Pollock painting will not be moved forward in the legislature this year,” Raecker wrote in an email.

Under the bill, the money from the painting would have been used to fund about 1,000 scholarships to UI art students.

State Board of Regents President David Miles said he thinks the withdrawing the bill was the right decision, though he said he applauds Raecker for bringing attention to the financial needs of students.

“While I know intentions were correct, to sacrifice the Pollock was not the way to get at the issue,” Miles said.

Sean O’Harrow, executive director of the UI Museum of Art, said the withdrawl send a message to the art world that Iowa is a place that still values it’s art culture.

“I can only hope that we will continue to see this artistic resource as something that serves as an representation of the value of art in Iowa,” said John Scott, director of the UI School of Art and Art History.

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