It’s normal for academics to keep a portrait of their favorite writer or scientist on the walls of their offices. Sometimes, however, people get all weird about that.
Once, I went to the office of a Canadian scholar who was Chair of a Department of Slavic Studies. I started talking to him, and then I noticed a big portrait of Vladimir Putin on his wall. And I kind of didn’t feel like talking to him about anything any more. I tried convincing myself that it was some kind of an ironic post-modern gesture but there weren’t any horns or tail drawn on the portrait. It looked like it had been hung there completely in earnest.
The scholar in question specialized in the Silver Age of Russian poetry, which is an area completely unconnected to Putin.
That was kind of scary. And it was a very good university, too.
As I always say, people are weird.