GARDNER (AP) -- Gardner city councilors want proceeds of the sale of a Norman Rockwell painting to support the arts.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that councilors voted informally Monday to change the language proposed for creating a fund from the sale more clearly directed toward arts programs.

The painting "Willie Gillis in Convoy" sold in May for $1.9 million. The school department had owned it since the 1950s when it was given by Rockwell to a former Gardner High School principal.

Mayor Mark Hawke said he wanted to use the money to create a foundation for educational purposes.

Councilor Marc Morgan argued that the painting was acquired to inspire students to learn about and appreciate art, and the sales proceeds should go to that purpose, rather than athletics and non-art programs.


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