L. Morin: Statue not hidden permanently

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Thank you for the article Jan. 25 about the shows that comedian Bob Marley will perform at The Franco Center. Ticket sales have been brisk ever since. However, I’d like to clarify a statement in the article.

While it is true I offered to cover the Virgin Mary statue behind the main stage for those shows, had Marley or his agent requested it, the article, as written, implies that I am planning to permanently hide the statue for all events. That is not the case.

For the record, The Franco Center has covered the statue on rare occasions in the past. It is not an easy process, requiring a couple of hours of someone working on a 20-foot lift. It is not something we can do at a moment’s notice if a performer requests it after seeing the stage for the first time right before a show.

To simplify that process on those infrequent occasions, I would like to – someday – have a mechanized curtain that could, at the press of a button, cover the statue. It would take seconds instead of hours and eliminate the potential for a workplace accident.

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It has been written that my predecessor, Rita Dube, often prayed to the Virgin Mary statue. Given all she accomplished here with Mary’s help, it would be blasphemous of me to permanently cover a statue so important to the heritage of those who built this magnificent building and who worshiped here for nearly 100 years.

Rest assured, I have no plans to do so.

Louis Morin, Lewiston

Executive Director, Franco-American Heritage Center

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