Today, the paintings Canada West and Canada East are on back display on the wall in the front reception area at the Foreign Affairs building in Ottawa, four years after they were taken down and replaced by a giant portrait of the Queen.
The switch had employees at Foreign Affairs turning their heads as as they arrived at work.
Here's one tweet:
Nothing against Her Majesty, but nice to see the Pellans back in their former location at the Pearson building. pic.twitter.com/hUB3PyI7Xr— aaron annable (@aarona617) November 9, 2015
In 2011, then foreign affairs minister John Baird instructed that the pair of historic paintings by celebrated Quebec modern master Alfred Pellan be replaced by a 2002 portrait of the Queen.
The change was ordered before the visit of Prince William and Kate in June 2011.
In addition to the Foreign Affairs Lester B. Pearson Building on Sussex Drive, embassies and missions abroad were also instructed to display portraits of the Queen.
Government documents later revealed the Conservative government had quietly planned to sell the Pellan paintings, but the plan was spiked after a public outcry in Quebec.
At the time, the paintings were valued at $90,000 each.
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