The city of Moncton is hoping to add some sparkle to its drab image by setting aside an amount equal to one per cent of all future construction budgets to buy public art.

The first project to come under the planisa $2 million fire hall planned for the corner of Botsford and King Streets. Based on that budget, the city will spend $20,000 on some kind of sculpture, mural or fountain.

MonctonCoun.Steven Boyce says spending public money on art is common in Europe and Quebec, and it makes sense to bring the idea to the Maritimes, where public sculptures are already part of the scenery.

"So many communities are doing their little thing. I'm thinking of Truro with its wooden sculptures and murals," he said.

Boyce says the project will also enhance the walls of buildings, public spaces or bits of land that can't be used for anything else.