In a story out of Sweden, a city has approved spending $91,584 to have the mayor painted, dressed as a Roman solider. The painting will be part of a larger mural that will be completed in the Hörby City Hall.

The City Council and the city’s industrial property board commissioned the painting, which is designed to connect the present with the past. Part of bridging eons is portraying Jesus being escorted by a modern police officer, and images from the Arab Spring. A local financier is also being depicted in the painting, but will be portrayed as Sweden’s King Karl XI. His partner will be displayed as a noble lady.

Adding to the controversy surrounding the unusual public art display is the contract for the work itself. The painter is a friend of the mayor, and was granted the commission without it being put out to bid. However, the city manager has defended that choice, saying that the special skills needed to complete the project negated the effectiveness of a bid process.

Read the full story at