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A glimpse of the big bad mural that has Maine’s Republican administration up in arms. (via Portland Press-Herald)

The Portland Press-Herald is reporting that Maine’s labor leaders believe their Republican governor’s decision to remove a pro-labor mural from the state’s Department of Labor is “political payback” and “a spiteful, mean-spirited move by the governor that does nothing to create jobs or improve the Maine economy.”

According to evidence produced by the governor’s office after a request from the newspaper, one anonymous fax signed “A Secret Admirer” — no, really — is enough to trigger artistic outrage in the pine tree state.

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration also wants to rename the department’s conference rooms that are currently named for labor leaders.

Artist Judy Taylor, who is responsible for the mural, says there is no political agenda in her work:

My response is that it’s history, so it’s not a present-day depiction of taxpayers … It’s episodes pulled from history. So that, to me, is a very odd argument. Anybody that would be in a Labor Department, if they went 100 years back into their history, they would find episodes that aren’t of reality today.

So, what does the Maine gov want to do with the mural?

In an interview, LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said the governor wants the mural to be donated to the state museum or another appropriate venue.

Do we need any more proof that the way to neutralize political art is to place it in a museum?

UPDATE: A blogger at the AFL-CIO’s blog is saying that “Republicans are trying to erase the history of America’s working people.”

Hat tip to

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

One reply on “Maine Gov Removes Labor Dept Mural for Being Pro-Labor [UPDATE]”

  1. Maine’s Governor should not have removed the mural. He should have removed the useless Department of Labor.

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