March 25, 2011

Labor mural headed to Portland

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The state Labor Department art mural, ordered off the walls by Gov. Paul LePage is headed to Portland.

click image to enlarge

Department of Labor mural panels 9 through 11.

Imbrogno Photography photo courtesy of Judy Taylor Studio

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Rep. Ben Chipman, I-Portland.

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Rep. Ben Chipman, I-Portland, said the governor's office has approved his proposal to put the mural in Portland City Hall. The City Council will have to hold a public hearing and accept the mural on loan, he said.

Earlier this week, LePage said he wanted the mural – depicting key moments in the state's labor history – removed because it suggests that the state would side with labor over business interests. Several organizations and individuals have proposed alternate settings for the mural and the Govenor's Office was expected to announce its decision on the fate of the art this afternoon.

Chipman said he supports leaving the mural in the Labor Department's office building, but since LePage is intent on removing it, the artwork should go where it can be viewed by a large number of people.

He said he worked with City Councilor David Marshall on the mural proposal. Marshall has suggested putting it on part of a long wall that leads from the second-floor landing outside the city manager's office to the city clerk's office.

The wall is about 50 feet long, Chipman said, and the mural, consisting of 11 panels, is about 36 feet long.

Chipman said details, such as who will move the mural and how to pay for the move and reinstallation, still need to be worked out.

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