Kentucky arts center fire may have damaged art worth $18M

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A fire at a Kentucky performing arts center may have damaged artwork worth $18 million.

Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts spokesman Christian Adelberg tells news outlets that most of the artwork was in the lobby, which suffered water damage as firefighters sprayed down the top of the building Wednesday.

Louisville Fire Capt. Salvador Melendez says the fire was started by a grinder used by crews repairing the center’s roof. Fire Chief Gregory Frederick says everyone was evacuated safely.

Adelberg says the lobby artwork had been covered to protect it from dust and debris, but it’s unclear whether that protection was sufficient to shield the collection from water.

Adelberg says the next scheduled show isn’t until Friday. The center will determine the status of upcoming shows after assessing the damage.

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