A historic building in the US has become the subject of an international dispute after it was swept away to a Canadian island during a blizzard.
McCurdy’s Smokehouse in Lubec, Maine, is the last traditional herring facility in the US and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
But last week’s “bomb cyclone” tore one of the five buildings from its supports and floated it to a Canadian island.
A fight over its remains created tensions between Canada and the US.
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Rachel Rubeor, president of Lubec Landmarks, a nonprofit organisation that works to preserve the smokehouse, told the Bangor Daily News on Thursday that Canadian officials refuse to let her team salvage the building’s remains, until the legal claims by Canadian scavengers can be sorted out.
“The bureaucratic nonsense is hampering us bigtime,” she said. “Let’s face it. It’s not like we’re terrorists or anything.”
Large portions of the building’s roof, flooring, fireplace, and side walls survived the storm.
But Canadian “vandals” have begun cutting off parts of the structure with “chainsaws”, Ms Rubeor said.
Her comments angered her Canadian neighbours, who felt she was attacking the people of Campobello Island in New Brunswick.
A representative for the New Brunswick energy and resources department told the BBC they heard about the dispute on the 8 January, and told her she could remove it the very next day.
A Canadian and an American contractor have been commissioned to bring back the remains by the 17 January.
Carol Dennison, chairwoman of the Lubec Board of Selectmen, issued an apology for Ms Rubeor’s comments on behalf of the board.
Ms Dennison told the Bangor Daily News that the board is “deeply sorry for anything that has caused any sadness from Lubec for our Canadian friends.”
Ms Rubeor, who has since apologised for her remarks, said she hopes to spread out the remains among the other four McCurdy’s buildings.