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College prez takes Maine gov to task over mural

March 29, 2011

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PORTLAND, Maine—The president of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts has sent a scathing letter to Maine Gov. Paul LePage for removing a mural from the Department of Labor headquarters that included an image of former U.S. Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, a 1902 Mount Holyoke graduate.

Lynn Pasquerella faxed a letter Tuesday outlining "grave concerns" about LePage's decision to remove the 36-foot mural and to rename departmental conference rooms now named for labor leaders, including Perkins.

Pasquerella was surprised to hear LePage was influenced by an anonymous letter comparing the mural to North Korean political propaganda. It depicts mill workers, shipbuilders, labor strikes and child laborers.

Pasquerella said removing the mural "conjures thoughts of the rewriting of history prevalent in totalitarian regimes." LePage says it's biased in favor of organized labor.