PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Republicans in northern Maine are raising money so the state can buy a disputed labor mural from the federal government.

The Aroostook County Republican Committee has created a website,, to raise $60,000 so the state can take ownership of the artwork and let LePage focus on other issues without “mural-type distractions.”

Gov. Paul LePage created an uproar when he had the 36-foot-wide mural depicting moments in Maine’s labor history removed from the Department of Labor headquarters. He said it favored organized labor at the expense of business.

The U.S. Department of Labor says LePage violated terms of the federal grant used to pay for most of the mural’s cost when he had it removed, and therefore the state should return the federal money used to create it.