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Politics & Government

Will The Real William Pitt Please Stand Up?

Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA

Well, this is awkward.

Mayor Bill Peduto unveiled a new portrait of the city's namesake on Wednesday, decades after Steel City mayors first began gesturing to an incorrect likeness -- Pitt's son, it turns out -- hanging in the mayor's conference room since at least the David L. Lawrence administration. 

Peduto paid $1,500 for a new likeness from his campaign funds to celebrate the city’s 200th anniversary of incorporation. The recreation was based on an oil on canvas commissioned to English portrait painter Richard Brompton in 1772. 

The painting is Peduto's gift to the city, he said. 

Robert Huckestein sold the portrait at a significant discount, according to Peduto. Huckestein’s website credits Pittsburgh architecture for influencing his early work.

William Pitt the Elder was the British Secretary of State during the French and Indian War. General John Forbes, originally named the land after Pitt as “Pittsbourgh.” Eventually Pittsburgh as it’s known today was adopted.

William Pitt the Younger later became the youngest British Prime Minister in 1783.