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Maine pro-labor mural gets new home

Jan. 14, 2013 at 5:02 PM

AUGUSTA, Maine, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A mural of Maine's labor history, derided as a one-sided view and removed from the state's Labor building, has a new home in the Maine State Museum.

The Maine Labor History Mural, an artwork removed two years ago by Republican Gov. Paul LePage after complaints about its message not in keeping with his administration's pro-business attitude, was unveiled Monday in the atrium of the Cultural Building in Augusta, which houses the state's museum, archives and library, the Bangor Daily News reported.

LePage's decision to remove the artwork by artist Judy Taylor came after an anonymous letter from a businessman compared the mural's message to North Korean propaganda.

Its removal provoked a lawsuit from labor activists and artists, claiming Taylor's free speech rights were violated, but a statement from the plaintiffs Monday called the mural's installation in the new location a triumph.

"The Maine State Museum, a place where Mainers go to learn about our history, is a fitting place to exhibit this most famous painting. We hope the mural will draw people to the museum to learn about how working men and women came to build our great state," lawyer Jeffrey Young said.

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