ATLANTA — The portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. now hanging next to the governor's office at the state Capitol is being moved to another part of the building meant to give the painting a permanent place of prominence.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp says the portrait needed to be moved to make room for the new portrait of outgoing Gov. Sonny Perdue. Portraits of Perdue and former governors Roy Barnes and Zell Miller will now occupy the wall space outside of the Office of the Governor.
"We felt like it would be a good idea to find a permanent home for it so when we're doing tours it's always in the same place," said Kemp, adding that the portrait's new location should be final and will prevent the need to move the painting of King around to make space for new gubernatorial portraits. "It's a bigger area and it's better lit. It's a more prominent location."
The Secretary of State's Office is in charge of the Capitol Museum and decides where to place portraits in the building.
King's portrait is the second painting of the civil rights icon to hang in the state Capitol. The first was unveiled in 1974 and was moved around the building. It is now on loan to the Woodruff Library at the Atlanta University Center.
The new portrait was unveiled in 2006 in its current location. It will now move to the north wing. Kemp says its new location will also include information about the civil rights movement in Georgia and King's life.
The portrait is expected to be moved in time for the state's King holiday observance, scheduled for Jan. 13.