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Locals have differing opinions about mural on Mancos Public Library

Does art that carries a political message have a place on a public building?

Mancos locals voiced different views on that topic at Thursday night’s meeting of the Mancos Library Board. Colorado’s Liberty Crochet mural, which is a 17-by-11-foot art work consisting of 40 squares crocheted by area residents, is hanging on the outside of the library building. It carries the message “Freedom to Choose” and is part of a nationwide protest against restrictions on abortion. About a dozen citizens spoke about it at the library board’s meeting. The majority said it was offensive, divisive, and difficult to explain to their children. However, other speakers said art by its very nature can be disturbing and the work represents hope and inclusion for many who see it. The mural, which has previously been hung in Cortez, is set to be taken down at the end of the month. The board said the display does not violate their current policy on public exhibits but they will consider revising and clarifying the policy. They said they are open to displays representing different viewpoints as long as they are of original art. The library’s director, Jared Boudreaux, is to draft a new policy and the board will seek public input.

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Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.