Defense Department unveils $50,000 portrait of Donald Rumsfeld.

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"Defense Department unveils $50,000 portrait of Donald Rumsfeld."

On Friday, Donald Rumsfeld was back at the Pentagon for the unveiling of his official portrait in a ceremony hosted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The painting “shows Rumsfeld at his stand-up desk with a picture of first-responders and soldiers unfurling the flag over the still-burning Pentagon on Sept. 12, 2001.” It will hang in the Pentagon along with his other portrait, commemorating when he served as defense secretary from 1975 to 1977. As the Washington Post reported in 2008, this new portrait of Rumsfeld cost nearly $50,000:

The price of original portraiture ranges widely. In a sampling, The Washington Post examined summaries of 30 portrait contracts, most awarded with no competitive bidding, and found costs ranging from $7,500 to nearly $50,000. Officials say costs sometimes run higher.

At the upper end of the scale, the Defense Department awaits the expected February completion of a $46,790 portrait of controversial former secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. It will grace a Pentagon hallway lined with portraits of his predecessors, as well as one from Rumsfeld’s first stint as defense secretary from 1975 to 1977, officials said.

ThinkProgress contacted Rumsfeld spokesperson Keith Urbahn, who noted that the former secretary paid for the cost of the portrait himself. One of the “treats” at Friday’s event was sugar cookies shaped like snowflakes.

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