When he yanked the 11-panel mural depicting workers in Maine, Gov. Paul LePage said he had been told the images were akin to North Korean propaganda.
Now, the artist of the murals, Judy Taylor, says LePage’s comment was especially painful–because her father was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in the Korean War. The New York Times quotes a statement Taylor issued today describing her father:
“He was a man who stood by every word he spoke,” she wrote. “It was so heartbreaking to learn that this controversy may have started with an anonymous letter comparing this mural to a North Korean propaganda poster. Perhaps we should hang my father’s Bronze Star for his service in Korea in the now empty reception area of the Maine Department of Labor until the mural is returned, as a symbol of the importance of remembering our history, and not shuttering it away.”
In 2007, Taylor won a statewide competition to create the mural depicting the “History of Labor in the State of Maine.”
In recent days, Mount Holyoke College President Lynn Pasquarella wrote to LePage decrying his comparison of the mural to North Korean political propaganda, saying
the act of removing images commemorating Maine’s history itself conjures thoughts of rewriting history prevalent in totalitarian regimes.