(CNN) – A bronze bust of Winston Churchill is becoming hotly contested in Washington. Well, actually, make that two of them.
A bust of the former British Prime Minister was lent by the British government to the White House in 2001 and displayed in the Oval Office. Conservatives, pointing to reports from British and American news outlets, blasted President Barack Obama for allegedly returning the statue after becoming president in 2009.
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White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer blasted back Friday, saying the statue remains in the White House, but has moved positions to a hallway outside the Treaty Room, in the president's residence.
In a blog post on the White House's website, Pfeiffer included an official White House photo of Obama viewing the bust with British Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit in 2010.
"Hopefully this clears things up a bit and prevents folks from making this ridiculous claim again," Pfeiffer wrote.
But late Friday, British Embassy Spokesman James Barbour said there were actually two busts of Churchill, both by artist Sir Jacob Epstein.
The one that was loaned to the George W. Bush administration in 2001 was returned after Bush left office and now resides at the British ambassador's residence in Washington.
A second bust, which is part of the White House's own art collection, is displayed in the White House. It is that bust which Obama is pictured looking at with Cameron in 2010.
On Thursday, the bust was referred to on the campaign trail during remarks Mitt Romney made in London.
"I'm looking forward to the bust of Winston Churchill being in the Oval Office again," Romney told a crowd of supporters at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. Romney did not say or suggest the bust had ever left the White House.
It wasn't the first time the candidate made that vow.
"One of my heroes was a man who had an extraordinary turn of phrase," Romney said at a CNN sponsored presidential debate in September. "He once said about us, he said, you know, you can count on the Americans to get things right after they've exhausted all the alternatives. And now and then we've made a couple of mistakes. We're quite a nation. And this man, Winston Churchill, used to have his bust in the Oval Office. And if I'm president of the United States, it'll be there again."
UPDATE: Late Friday afternoon, Pfeiffer updated his blog post to explain the two busts and said the idea "that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false and an urban legend that continues to circulate to this day."
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