March 30, 2011

Mural artist offers Bronze Star for empty wall

By Tom Bell
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — The artist who painted the mural removed from the Maine Department of Labor last weekend issued a statement today suggesting that Gov. LePage should replace the mural with the bronze star earned by her father for his service in the Korean War.

Judy Taylor, of Tremont, said she was upset to learn that LePage decided to remove the mural after receiving an anonymous letter that said the mural was reminiscent of "communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses," according to "The Caucus," a political blog in the New York Times.

Taylor's father served on the front lines in the Korean War as a forward observer.

"He was a man who stood by every word he spoke," Taylor wrote. "It was so heartbreaking to learn that this controversy may have started with an anonymous letter comparing this mural to a North Korean propaganda poster. Perhaps we should hang my father's Bronze Star for his service in Korea in the now empty reception area of the Maine Department of Labor until the mural is returned, as a symbol of the importance of remembering our history, and not shuttering it away."

LePage ordered the mural removed because he said it presented a one-sided version of history and he wanted artwork that would be more balanced.


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