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Maine Governor Says Bad Timing in Labor Mural Removal
Waves of criticism have followed the removal of a mural depicting workers' history in Maine from government offices in the state capital Augusta March 29, 2011. The 36-foot-long (11-meter-long) work contains 11 panels with images including shoemakers, child labor, textile workers and strikers, as well as Frances Perkins, U.S. Labor Secretary and the first U.S. woman cabinet member. Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, has said through spokesmen that he received complaints about the artwork in the Department of Labor offices from business owners because it was too pro-labor. REUTERS/James Imbrogno.
AUGUSTA, ME (AP).- Maine Gov. Paul LePage says his timing wasn't the best when he ordered the removal of a mural about the state's labor history from the Department of Labor in Augusta.

In his first public comments on the issue, which have drawn criticism from labor activists across the country, LePage said the public outcry was a distraction from efforts to implement his legislative agenda, such as streamlining regulations and providing tax relief for Mainers.

He told the Portland Press Herald he should have waited until after the legislative session.

He has called the mural anti-business.

The decision continues to draw criticism. On Thursday, the Portland Museum of Art issued a statement that said the removal of the mural tarnishes Maine's reputation as a haven for artists.


Information from: Portland Press Herald

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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