(The Local, Sweden) A mayor from southern Sweden has been slammed for paying an artist friend 600,000 kronor ($91,584) in public funds to paint a depiction of the mayor dressed as a Roman legionary as part of a mural in the local council’s building.

“I have met the artist on many different occasions and we had discussed a painting. I thought it sounded very interesting. He then sent in a proposal that was presented to the Hörby industrial property board,” mayor Lars Ahlkvist of the Moderate Party told local paper Skånska Dagbladet.

According to the paper, the painting was never put out to tender but was commissioned during a number of meetings between Hörby municipality’s top brass and the artist in question.

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