Shockingly, not everyone is happy about this.
Via Campus Reform:
John Jay College of Criminal Justice is facing backlash after hosting an exhibit featuring artwork by several current and former Guantánamo Bay detainees.
The exhibit, which is titled “Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantánamo Bay,” features a total of 30 artworks and is slated to run until January 26, 2018.
According to The New York Post, the event catalog also features an email address for people who are “interested in purchasing artwork made at Guantanamo by artists who have since been cleared by military tribunals and released.”
One former captive who currently resides in Oman wanted the proceeds from his artwork to go toward medical care of his sick mother, The Miami Herald reported earlier in November.
“Detainees at the United States military prison camp known as Guantánamo Bay have made art from the time they arrived,” the description of the event states. “The exhibit will display some of these evocative works, made by men held without trial, some for nearly 15 years, who paint the sea again and again although they cannot reach it.”
Shortly after opening the exhibit, the New York City-based school sparked a flurry of criticism for its decision to display the art, including from some U.S. officials who reportedly called for the removal of the featured artwork.
A Pentagon spokesperson, Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson, told The Miami Herald earlier this month that the artwork is “property of the U.S. government” and that the Department of Defense still has questions “on where the money for the sales was going.”