Money Woes and Art Collide

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The last $1 million installment was approved by the Senate earlier this session and now goes to Gov. Haley Barbour.

Rep. Johnny Stringer, who became House Appropriations chairman in January, said he put the bill before the House because previous lawmakers had agreed to put the money into the art show, but he says it's the last time he will put state dollars into such a production while other state programs are seeing their funding cut in tight budget times.

Rep. Charlie Capps of Cleveland was House Appropriations chairman when the state committed to put a total of $3 million into "The Glory of Baroque Dresden.'' He said the show will boost Mississippi's economy by bringing in out-of-state tourists.

"The Glory of Baroque Dresden'' features objects of art from paintings to porcelain to armor to jewels. Among the most famous pieces are the 41-carat Dresden green diamond and a 1656 painting by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer, one of only 35 known Vermeers in the world.