Three colorful paintings that served as a backdrop for nearly two decades' worth of political debates at Annapolis City Hall -- until they were removed this summer -- are going back up.

The trio of paintings by Annapolis artist Lee Boynton were commissioned in the mid-1990s and depict an interpretation of historical scenes from the city's founding. They hung in City Hall's council chambers, behind the mayor's seat.

The paintings were removed this summer when the chambers were renovated. And while the removal was approved by a City Hall renovation committee, the city's Arts in Public Places Commission and many residents were not thrilled, said Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen.

"The community loves the paintings," he said.

So the mayor and City Council decided the paintings needed to be returned to the council chambers. Carpenter Bill Schreitz -- who installed the paintings in the first place, and then took them down -- is at work re-mounting the paintings back inside the decorative moulding on the wall.

"They're beautiful paintings. They add color to the chambers," Cohen said, through he added, "There's a certain elegance to the chambers without the walls being adorned with paintings."

The city spent $47,000 renovating the chambers this summer, fixing crown moulding that had fallen down, repainting the room in a beige-and-cream color scheme, installing wireless microphones, replacing carpet and uncovering and refinishing a section of hardwood floor. The council chambers renovation is part of ongoing renovations to City Hall.

The cost of re-hanging the paintings will be covered by the renovation budget, Cohen said.