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Old Governor's Mansion to be redecorated

The Old Governor's Mansion in Frankfort, which served as the official residence of Kentucky's lieutenant governor until 2002, will be redecorated as part of an interior design contest that will end with a gala in 2009, according to first lady Jane Beshear.

The home, built in 1798, underwent a $2.3 million renovation that was completed in 2004.

At a press conference Tuesday, Beshear said that although that renovation made the building structurally sound, "its walls and rooms are mostly bare and in need of a makeover."

The redecoration is being done in preparation for the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and will be called the Kentucky Mansion Celebration project.

Only private or in-kind donations — no public money —will be used in the renovation and the gala, according to a release from Gov. Steve Beshear's office.

State officials have not said how much the project will cost.

Margaret Jewett, owner of L.V. Harkness & Company in Lexington and co-vice president of the Kentucky Equine Humane Center board of directors, will coordinate the project.

Proceeds from the gala will help the equine humane center in Nicholasville, whose mission is finding homes for horses.

Interior designers from the state will compete to redecorate what's known as the nation's oldest official executive residence.

All of the furnishings, window treatments, furniture and accessories will remain in the mansion as donations, the release said.

Specific dates for events will be released later, the governor's office said.

The Old Governor's Mansion, at 420 High Street, is open to the public for tours two days each week.

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