Bowing to pressure from top Republicans John Boehner and Eric Cantor, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery has removed artwork containing a 4-minute video showing ants crawling on a crucifix, CNS News reports. Cantor had demanded the artwork be "pulled," calling it "an outrageous use of taxpayer money and an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season."
Boehner's spokesman added that the Smithsonian must either "correct it, or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January." The museum's director said the 1987 work is not sacrilegious and was meant to show the suffering of an AIDS victim. "It was not the museum’s intention to offend. We are removing the video today.” Religious groups also complained about the video, one of 105 in an exhibit called "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture." (Read more National Portrait Gallery stories.)