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It's not the Louvre or the Prado, but there is a fair sprinkling of admirable artwork on the walls of Wake Medical Center in Raleigh, N.C.

Along the hallway near the hospital cafeteria is an area reserved for local artists to display their work. Recently it was covered with paintings by local students. Traditional landscapes to more abstract renderings by various artists hang from walls in other parts of the facility.

In a sterile world where pain and death are familiar, these paintings bring some life and warmth.

And while insurance for fine art in a hospital might sound as strange as malpractice coverage for the Louvre, it should come as no surprise that Jeannie Sedwick has made sure that more than the medical center's walls are covered.

Coverage for work displayed at the medical center is included as "an extension of our property coverage," which is underwritten by The St. Paul Cos., she said. The artwork is covered for theft or damage at values far below the work in the museums in Paris and Madrid.

But who knows? The high-dollar art in the world's finest museums may one day include that of Raleigh schoolchildren who first displayed at Wake Medical Center.