Presidential Art Galleries?
November 24, 2004 2:02 PM   Subscribe

I heard recently on NPR a story about the new Clinton Presidential Library and how all of the gifts of original artwork sent to the President were kept as it was illegal to throw or give away any of it. The story went on that all the artwork was at the library but that there was so much that only a slight minority of it would ever be displayed. My question is, does anyone know more about this law obligating the President to keep the drawing I send him/her? Would they have to keep it even if it stunk or was otherwise somehow unappealing? I imagine you know what I'm getting at with our friend W in office for another four years...
posted by pwb503 to Law & Government (6 answers total)
Were they foreign gifts in the story? Those have special rules. The relevant law is 5 USC 7342. It only applies if it is worth more than $100 and comes from a foreign government.
posted by smackfu at 3:16 PM on November 24, 2004

Fantastic. Who knows someone in government who can be bribed to send more than $100 worth of these, say, to the White House?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:34 PM on November 24, 2004

Carolyn Parrish in Canada would do it in a heartbeat. :-) She's the MP that keeps slagging Bush, despite admonishments from her boss, PM Paul Martin.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:01 PM on November 24, 2004

As odd as it may seem, this particular law plays a critical part in the Kevin Costner thriller No Way Out.

The Defense Secretary (Hackman) received a registered foreign gift, and passed it to his mistress, who he killed in a fit of rage. The voluminous federal registrations were stored on computer databases, and if Costner could only print the database out in time, he could prove the relationship and bring down the Secretary. In those days, of course, you could only prove something was in a very large database by printing the entire thing out, and the report would automatically incorporate changes to the database while it was printing. The climax actually involves Costner running out of the Pentagon inches ahead of a security detail, the printout clutched in his hand.
posted by dhartung at 9:50 PM on November 24, 2004

her boss, PM Paul Martin

Not any more. She was turfed from caucus last week. Which you have got to admit is a pretty gutsy move for the leader of a minority goverment to make.
posted by Mitheral at 11:54 AM on November 25, 2004

Sidhedevil's link defines foreign goverment down to the "local, and municipal" level. Think there are any forestry towns in BC who'd like to send an engraved 4x12 or two (dozen) to Mr Bush?
posted by Mitheral at 12:04 PM on November 25, 2004

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