Newport's Chartist Mural 'not to be listed'
WALES' heritage body Cadw has decided not to list Newport's Chartist Mural, it was confirmed this morning.
Newport council said consultants found there was a danger relocation or leaving the John Frost Square mural in place would jeopardise the city centre regeneration scheme, Frairs Walk.
It would have cost at least £600,000 to relocate the mural which may not have survived such a move, the authority added.
However the council said it will consult on commissioning a city memorial to the Chartists.
A council spokeswoman said: "We are aware that the mural does mean a lot to some people but the council has had to consider the wider picture. Unfortunately, it may have proved a fruitless effort to save the mural and too big a price to pay, both financially and for the overall good of the city and its residents."
The decision by Cadw comes after a high-profile national campaign to save the art work.
The spokeswoman for Newport council added: "Newport City Council is grateful to Cadw for examining this issue in such detail before reaching its conclusion. The decision not to list the mural rests with Cadw and is part of a detailed statutory process
"We regard Chartism as an extremely important part of history not just for the city but for Wales and the UK. The Chartists’ important role in the birth of democracy in this country is acknowledged with exhibits in the Newport Museum and Art Gallery as well as the statues in Westgate square.
"Following the submission of the listing request, we took Cadw’s advice and commissioned Mann Williams Consultants, experts in the field of civil and structural engineering, about the potential for relocating the mural.
"It was made clear that it would cost at least £600,000 and there were real risks that the mural would not survive such a move. We have to consider the cost to the council taxpayer, especially in the current financial climate.
"It was also acknowledged that there was a danger that relocation, or leaving the mural in situ, would jeopardise the Friars Walk scheme which is seen as vital for the regeneration and revitalisation of the city centre.
"While it will not be possible to preserve the mural in its current state, we have made a commitment to commission a memorial to the Chartists within the city. We will consult with the people of Newport to agree the most appropriate way to celebrate the Chartist movement.
"Records have been made of the mural and consideration will now be given to how these can best be used to preserve the memory of this art work for future generations."
Comments are closed on this article.