By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,266)
The controversial labor mural that was once on display at the Department of Labor entrance has been put on display at the entrance to the Maine State Museum in Augusta as of this morning. The removal of the labor mural by LePage almost two years ago became so controversial that it received national attention. The 11-panel, 7 ft. tall mural was moved to its new home from a previously undisclosed location where LePage had hidden it since its removal from the Department of Labor Building.
Following almost two years of controversy and court battles, LePage has taken this action in response to pressure from the public to put it back on display. LePage had the mural removed because of an anonymous complaint which compared the mural to North Korea progaganda. LePage said it gave visitors to the Labor Department the impression that Maine is a pro-labor state.
Shortly after its removal, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against LePage contending that the removal of the mural violated their First Amendment rights. The Maine District Court rejected the lawsuit, contending that the removal constituted lawful government speech. Last month the federal Appeals Court rejected Plaintiffs appeal according to a press release issued by the Plaintiffs’ attorney Jeffrey N. Young, of McTeague Higbee.
The Maine State Museum is closed on Monday.