Capitol Alert

Schwarzenegger’s splotchy portrait retouched, on display at Capitol

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s official portrait is hung at the Capitol on Friday.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s official portrait is hung at the Capitol on Friday. David Siders

Three months after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his official Capitol portrait – and its badly scrubbed-out image of his estranged wife – a less splotchy, retouched version of the painting was hung Friday with little fanfare.

Less noticeable on the final installment is the area where an image of Maria Shriver’s face on a lapel pin was deleted. The painting, shipped back to the Los Angeles area at Schwarzenegger’s request, was repaired by the original artist, Gottfried Helnwein, state officials said.

“It’s all taken care of,” curator Koren Benoit said. “(Helnwein) cleaned it up.”

Benoit and Department of General Services employees lifted the painting onto a wall on the Capitol’s third floor Friday, watched by a handful of reporters.

“It needs to come up a little more on the right,” Benoit said at one point, and then, “There … that looks better.”

Schwarzenegger and Shriver separated in 2011 amid revelations that Schwarzenegger had fathered a child with a member of his household staff. It remains unclear who originally altered the painting.

A Schwarzenegger spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

The painting is a lifelike image of a younger Schwarzenegger standing in front of the state seal. It hangs next to the portrait of Schwarzenegger’s immediate predecessor, Gray Davis. At more than 4 feet wide and 6 feet high, it is larger than the portraits of other recent governors.

A group of tourists filed through minutes after the portrait was hung, stopping to take photographs.

Standing back from the portrait, Benoit said, “It does make a statement.”

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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