Altona's giant Van Gogh Sunflower painting was hung back up on its easel Thursday.
The painting had undergone repairs by artist Cameron Cross over the summer. Cross said the painting suffered water damage and rotted some of the wood. The repairs included replacing the wood, adding fiberglass, grinding loose paint, sanding, painting, and adding a clear-coat to protect it from future damage.
Mayor Melvin Klassen said the added coat on the painting will protect it, but noted Canadian weather conditions can be extreme.
"The problem is the weather conditions we have here are somewhat different than they would be in Kansas or in Australia," said Klassen, referring to Cross's paintings in warmer locations. "There's a concern there as to if it'll be as effective as it is out there."
Another part of the repair project was using bolts to attach the painting to its easel, rather than welding it on like before. The bolts will allow the painting to come back down easier in the future, without having to bring down the easel with it.
Klassen attended the restoration of the painting, and admitted he was a little nervous to observe the process.
"My concern was somehow they would damage it while it was going back up, but nothing happened, it was really well done," he said. "It went very smoothly, they certainly knew what they were doing."
Klassen noted the painting is a well-known part of Altona, and he's happy it has been restored. He added people were curious as to why the painting was taken down.
"They will come just to Altona just to see the painting, and it's very important to the town," he said
Klassen added the total figures for the repairs aren't in yet, but estimates the total number to be $40,000, with about $17,000 or $18,000 being covered by insurance.
"It won't be totally on budget because of the fact it had to be more worked on than expected," he explained.