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Legal dispute over 'Taj Mahal' artwork is finally over

A two-year legal dispute ended Thursday when the Legislative Budget Commission approved $514,884 in payment for framed artwork for the “Taj Mahal” courthouse for the 1st District Court of Appeals.

The original tab was $357,000, but it ballooned after two lawsuits and seven appeals when Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and his predecessor Alex Sink balked at the cost for the nearly 400 framed photos by Signature Art Gallery.

Atwater and Gov. Rick Scott agreed to pay the gallery last month on the premise the artwork would go to the Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs. The commission, made up of seven state representatives and seven senators approved the settlement with no discussion. The gallery will be paid next week.

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

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