Franciszek Kulon painting

Date: 2003 - 2007

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Painting

Artist: Franciszek (Frank) C. Kulon

Confronting Bodies: The government of Sullivan County, New York

Dates of Action: 2003-2007

Location: Sullivan County, New York, USA

Description of Artwork: Kulon's unnamed painting depicts three nude cherubs, one draped in the American flag, dropping a hand grenade on two Iraqi children.

The Incident: Local officials took down Kulons painting from a gallery of 600 pieces of art in the lobby of the Sullivan County Government Center. The work was removed from the gallery due to its controversial and political message and its alleged anti-war statement.

Results of Incident: Kulon brought a lawsuit against Sullivan County claiming that the removal of his art was censorship and a violation of his constitutional rights. In August of 2007, Kulon won at $40,000 settlement against the County. Along with winning his suit, in 2005, a group called Sullivan Peace and Justice displayed the painting beneath the spot where it once hung, while handing out peace literature. The group later presented lawmakers with a petition with 100 signatures opposing the county's decision to take it down. County officials ultimately agreed to let Kulon hang the painting, if he wanted to bring it back.