Quebec politicians say the removal of two paintings from the walls of a federal building in Ottawa is a provocative move that shows the current federal government's contempt for Quebec.

The Parti Québécois is calling for two paintings by noted Quebec artist Alfred Pellan to be returned to their home province.

The two pieces " Canada East" and " Canada West" which hung in the entrance of the Lester B. Pearson foreign affairs building in Ottawa for almost 40 years were recently taken down and placed in storage.

The PQ said the fact they were replaced by a picture of the Queen underlines the Conservative government's disdain for Quebec.

The party's culture critic Jean-François Blanchet says Quebec should ask that the paintings be returned to their home province where they will be given the respect they deserve.

One suggestion is to send the paintings to the Quebec City's Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec which has to the largest collection of Pellan's work in Canada.