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QEII painting banned for 60 years finally on display

By Stephanie Grimes | Posted - Jan 21st, 2013 @ 11:59am

LIVERPOOL, England — A painting of Queen Elizabeth II banned for half a century because her neck looked weird is finally on display after more than 60 years.

The painting, commissioned in 1952 for the Queen's Coronation, was painted by artist John Napper, who was famously quoted as saying the work was "a beautiful painting of a queen, but not this Queen."

Embarrassed council chiefs ordered the painting to be hidden from public view, according to the Telegraph. The painting has spent most of the past 61 years in storage, although it hung briefly in the nation's Walker Art Gallery after the Liverpool Corporation refused to hang it in Town Hall.

After the painting was rejected, Napper painted a second portrait of the queen — with a smaller neck — to appease the council. It has hung in the Liverpool City Hall ever since.

Trustees announced on Thursday the painting would be permanently hung at the city's St. George's Hall to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

"It will be the first thing people will see if they come to get married or have a civil partnership or attend a citizenship ceremony," Lord Mayor Gary Millar told the BBC.

The unveiling of the once controversial painting comes on the heels of another royal portrait fiasco: a portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge unveiled earlier this year met intense criticism after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

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