LEWISTON — Museum L-A officials have made it known to state officials they are "very interested" in having the Department of Labor's controversial labor mural.
Museum Director Rachel Desgrosseilliers said Friday she had contacted Labor Department officials after being "bombarded by phone calls over the last few days. People felt that it should come here because of its manufacturing past."
The mural is composed of 11 panels depicting various labor themes and was painted by Seal Cove artist Judy Taylor.
On Friday afternoon, Gov. Paul LePage's office announced it was the administration's intention to loan the mural to the city of Portland to be displayed at Portland City Hall.
Desgrosseilliers expressed disappointment with the decision by LePage, who grew up in Lewiston, but said she was still hopeful the museum would get a chance to show off the mural.
She said the mural's presence at Museum L-A would be particularly fitting, given that several of the mural's scenes depict events and professions connected with Lewiston-Auburn and the tri-county area, and because the museum prides itself in connecting history and art.
State Sen. Margaret Craven, D-Lewiston, also was disappointed by the governor's decision. She said she had been working with the deputy commissioner of labor and others over the past few days in an effort to bring the mural to Lewiston. She said Friday evening that regardless of the Portland plan, she hoped the mural could at some point be in Lewiston, even if only as part of a traveling exhibit.
The Portland City Council is set to vote April 4 on whether to accept the loan of the mural.
— By Mark Mogensen, news editor