Paducah’s mayor and city commission decided yesterday to hire the Louisiana-based artist who painted the city’s floodwall to restore three of its murals. Controversy erupted after local artists petitioned the commission to consider another local contract for the restoration.
The original artist, Robert Dafford, said he had a right to maintain his own work and threatened to seek legal action if he had to lower his bid or was out-bid. City Attorney David Denton says the law gives preference to creating artists in such cases, and City Manager Jeff Pederson says the decision was also in the best interest of the murals.
“We think it’s almost without the debate that the best way to protect the integrity of the original art is for it to be maintained by the artist that created it,” Pederson said.
According to Dafford’s proposal, the city will pay him just under $20,000 to restore the murals.