THE MAYOR of a Moselle town who found himself at the centre of a political and legal row after ordering a fountain to be painted blue has said he will restore the sculpture to its original state.
But it is not a complete u-turn. The fountain will be moved from its current town-centre location to a park.
As reported, the fountain was painted blue last month on the instructions of Fabien Engelmann, the Front National mayor of the town of Hayange.
His decision, made without consulting the artist, Alain Mila, sparked an outcry and led to a legal threat from the sculptor.
Culture minister Aurélie Filippetti denounced the decision as “a clear violation of the moral law and the basic rules of the code of intellectual property and the protection of heritage”.
At the time, the artist told AFP that he believed the two shades of blue chosen to paint his sculpture were close to the colours of the far-right party to which the mayor belongs.
It will be replaced by another fountain, which will be painted blue “for consistency with the rest of the downtown area”, the spokesman said.
Mr Mila said the mayor had not informed him about plans to move his work, which was commissioned for €9,000 in 2001, but said that it had been “made to be placed in the town square”.
He suggested Mr Engelmann should offer the fountain to another town.