2) Presentation of Churchill Bust

George W. Bush was sworn into office on January 20th 2001 as the 43rd President of the United States. Six months later in an unprecedented act by the British Government. Tony Blair loaned a Bust of Winston Churchill from the Government Art Collection to George Bush for the duration of his term of office. The Bust now sits in the Oval Office of the White House.

During the official ceremony on July 16th 2001, President Bush thanked the British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer saying,

“I think I casually mentioned to the Ambassador, right after my swearing-in, that I lamented the fact that there was not a proper bust of Winston Churchill for me to put in the Oval Office. He’s a man of great action, because here sits a bust on loan from Her Majesty’s government, that I accept gratefully; and will place right here, where the flowers are, beneath one of my favourite West Texas paintings. I accept gratefully and I look forward to looking at Sir Winston on a daily basis.”

Since that day, 2 months prior to the September 11th tragedy there have been numerous references to Churchill and many references to the Churchill Bust. In a speech to the Library of Congress, February 2004, the Presidents begins saying

“I’ve always been a great admirer of Sir Winston Churchill, admirer of his career, admirer of his strength, admirer of his character — so much so that I keep a stern-looking bust of Sir Winston in the Oval Office. He watches my every move.”