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Journal Tribune
Updated January 12, 2019
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What will be the fate of the labor mural removed by Gov. Paul LePage?

The mural gained national attention when former Gov. Paul LePage ordered it removed from the lobby of the Department of Labor in 2011, his first year in office, and placed in storage prior to its re-installation at the state library in 2013.

The mural depicts the history of organized labor in Maine and the country, with images of Rosie the Riveter and a shoe-worker strike in Lewiston.

LePage, a Republican, called the mural “one-sided” at the time, saying he did not want to send the wrong message to employers in Maine.

Its removal prompted widespread criticism and a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of three artists, a workplace safety official, an organized labor representative and an attorney alleging that LePage violated First Amendment rights protected in the U.S. Constitution, as well as the state’s contract with the artist.

LePage prevailed in the federal lawsuit when a judge ruled its removal was justified.

Scott Ogden, a spokesman for Mills, a Democrat, said the new governor would leave the mural in the museum.

“Gov. Mills believes the Labor Mural’s home in the Maine State Museum, where it is widely available to the public, is a fitting tribute to the history of labor in Maine,” Ogden said. “She is glad to see it receive the attention, visibility, and stature it deserves, and she encourages all Maine people to visit it at the museum.”

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