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Naked prime minister painting causes stir

Canada's Stephen Harper immortalized in oil-on-canvas work.

Canada harper 3 14 2012Enlarge
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper saw his Conservative Party win a majority government. Now some wonder if the party used dirty tricks to win. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had nothing to hide as political opponents took their shots.

A painting of the naked, Conservative Party of Canada leader sprawled on a chaise lounge with business-suited lackeys serving him a Tim Hortons coffee is all anyone could talk about today on Parliament Hill.

“This is one case where we do need a Conservative cover-up,” Liberal MP Scott Brison said, the Toronto Star reported.

Artist Margaret Sutherland entered “Emperor Haute Couture” into an art competition at the Kingston, Ont., library.

The 60-by-36, oil-on-canvas work will hang on the wall until the end of the month, The Canadian Press said.

Sutherland debuted the painting at Toronto’s Edward Day Gallery last year, but it didn’t generate much attention.

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That changed this week.

Sutherland said the painting is a commentary on political spin coming from the Conservatives.

“This is a new spin on the old allegory that the emperor has new clothes,” she told the Toronto Sun.

The artist put a $5,000 price tag on the work, which also features a small, grey dog at Harper’s feet.

A spokesman for the prime minister said he wasn’t impressed.

“Everyone knows the PM is a cat person,” Andrew MacDougall said through Twitter.

A representative of the coffee chain featured in the painting said they are also upset.

“We’d never flip the tab on a hot coffee before serving a naked customer,” David Morelli told the Sun. “Obvious safety hazard.”

More from GlobalPost: Is Stephen Harper splitting up Canada?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/canada/120518/naked-prime-minister-painting-causes-stir