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The original seal of the state of Virginia designed in 1776 and the 2010 religious fundamentalist make-over (via Modern Art Notes)

Remember that insane story about the Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli handing out new lapel pins to staff with the state seal covered up with an armored breastplate? According to Norfolk’s Virginian-Pilot newspaper:

When the new design came up at a staff meeting, workers in attendance said Cuccinelli joked that it converts a risqué image into a PG one.

Arts writer Tyler Green must have had the same huh reaction the rest of us did, but in response to Cuccinelli’s prudishness Green dreams up a scenario where Virginia’s museums start to worry about the reach of the right-wing arts censors. He writes:

In the wake of a decision by Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli to cover up the bare-breasted woman on the Virginia state seal, officials at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond are concerned that Cuccinelli will next turn his attention to the museum and its collection.

And then the snark really begins:

Museum officials think that Cuccinelli may be outraged by numerous works in the museum’s collection. “Certainly our first worry is how the attorney general will react to our Artemisia Gentileschi, Venus and Cupid (ca. 1625-30),” VMFA director Alex Nyerges said. “We held a meeting and decided our best bet was to call Hirshhorn director Richard Koshalek and to ask him to send some of his staff to Richmond. We understand they’re experienced at walking around a museum on request, so we’ll send them to to walk around the Gentileschi in the hopes of obscuring it from Cuccinelli’s view. We’re also having our staff study this turn-of-the-17th-century Italian suit of armor. As soon as possible, we’ll send our staff into our gift shop to draw breastplates onto posters of the Gentileschi. Same low price.”

I love it. Thankfully, “Late Monday night Cuccinelli’s office announced that it was discontinuing use of the new, toned-down seal.” Phew. I guess the only thing you can do when confronted with such stupidity is have fun with it.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.