This Sculpture Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers $400,000

 This Sculpture Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers $400,000

American taxpayers are footing the bill for a rather interesting purchase in Pakistan. 

BuzzFeed revealed on Monday that $400,000 of U.S. taxpayer money is going to be used to purchase a camel sculpture for the new American Embassy in Islamabad. 

The fiberglass sculpture is called "Camel Contemplating Needle," and it shows a white camel staring at the eye of a needle with confusion.

It's the work of California-based artist John Baldessari, and the sculpture will be identical to an already existing one displayed in front of Hall Wines, a winery in Napa, Calif. 

Department of State spokeswoman Christine Foushee said in a statement that the hefty purchase only accounts for 0.5% of the new construction project's budget.

According to the document justifying the purchase, art work for the new embassy was selected to "reflect the values of a predominantly Islamist country."

It's a nice gesture, but it also rings hollow when considering the average annual income in the country, which is $1,250, as BuzzFeed points out.

Perhaps, rather than a sculpture, the U.S. could go with a more cost effective way to build bridges with Pakistan. Maybe rethinking our drone program (which heavily impacts Pakistan), and you know, following international law for a change might be a start? 

Might be a better display than a fiberglass camel. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Sara Yasin

Sara Yasin is the World Editor at Mic. Her writing has been previously published at Index on Censorship, Jezebel, Salon, Ms. Magazine blog, the Guardian, the Telegraph, and the New York Times.

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