Labor Dept. Demands Refund for Maine’s Removal of “Pro-Labor” Mural

Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Panels from Judy Taylor's mural
Maine Governor Paul LePage’s decision to remove a mural from the state labor department building may cost his state $60,000.
Created in 2008, the labor-themed mural was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Federal officials say LePage’s order to take down the painting violated the terms of the grant Washington provided, and Maine will now have to reimburse the U.S. government.
LePage wanted the mural gone because, he said, it presented a one-sided view of labor history. Some business owners also complained, claiming the artwork was hostile to employers.
The 36-foot wide, 11-panel painting by Maine artist Judy Taylor depicts, among other subjects, scenes from a 1986 paper mill strike, Rosie the Riveter, who worked at the Bath Iron Works, and former U.S. Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, whose parents were from Maine.
The Republican governor says his administration intends to find a new home for the mural, which now is packed away in pieces.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Mural Loss Could Cost State Taxpayers (by Tom Bell, Kennebec Journal)


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