Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Supporters of History of Maine Labor Mural win a clear victory

January 15, 2013

RE: With the mural back on display, the supporters of History of Maine Labor mural win a clear victory

To the press and the people of Maine:

We are pleased for the people of Maine that Governor LePage relented and has allowed the History of Maine Labor mural by Judy Taylor to be put back on display in a Maine state building.

This is a clear and decisive victory not only for the First Amendment, the artist and the people of Maine, but for the people who rightly opposed the governor’s seizing the mural from where it hung in the Maine Department of Labor until 2011.

We were very pleased to see that the state acknowledged the mural was primarily paid for by Reed Act funds and that the terms of the act must be respected. The federal government was very clear that it did not approve of the LePage administration’s removing and hiding the mural. The mural’s disposition now complies with the terms of the US DoL’s firm but generously moderate 2011 letter on the matter.

After the last round of litigation, our lead attorney, Jeff Young, suggested the Maine State Museum would be an appropriate site for displaying the mural. We are grateful to new museum director Bernard Fishman and his staff for making the overture to show the mural and to new ME DoL commissioner Jeanne Pacquette for making this possible.

We would like to thank everyone who stood up against the seizing of the mural and stood with us until the ethical, moral and governmental violation was remedied.

There is still more to be done, but this victory marks a great moment for the people of Maine and free speech in America.


Robert Shetterly
Joan Braun
Natasha Mayers
John Newton
Lee Sharkey
Daniel Kany
Henry Braun
Edgar Beem
Don Berry
Julieanne Reed


fahyhallowell said...

So he did the right thing in the end, but why all the secrecy? The "public unveiling" was announced the night before for an early morning event! Would like to have the opportunity to attend a real public reception the mural's safe return to the people of Maine. So many Maine artists and arts supporters played a role in returning it to public view after all. Well done Maine Labor Mural blogger team!

Daniel Kany said...

I personally think it's the same logic that made him take it down over the weekend: fear and the disdain for what the public thinks. But more practically, with a Democratic Legislature and a Democratic AG coming in, LePage smells the possibility of impeachment.