ARGUS COMMENT: Mural simply can't stay at any cost
10:01am Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
INVITATIONS for firms to tender for the demolition work needed to prepare the ground for Newport's long-awaited Friars Walk shopping centre bring the project one step closer to fruition.
The regeneration of the city centre, with Debenhams as its anchor store, has taken far too long.
We do not want to see any further delays to a project that, were it not for the recession, should have been completed years ago.
Which brings us to the thorny subject of the Chartist mural in John Frost Square.
We know some people believe the mural must be saved at all costs. It is not a view we have ever shared.
In a perfect world, we would like to see the mural retained but - as we have said before - not at the expense of the public purse or of the future of the city centre.
Cadw is currently considering whether to list the mural. Whatever its decision, it needs to be made quickly.
If it decides to list the mural and therefore protects it from demolition then we have real fears about the viability of the current Friars Walk plan. That is not a price worth paying.
The Chartists must be commemorated somewhere in Newport - but we would prefer to see the mural recreated where it can be viewed properly rather than retained in a less-than-pleasant underpass.