THE National Assembly’s presiding officer has told the Argus she’s looking forward to working on the new independent commission to find and fundraise for a replacement to the Chartist Mural.

Newport West AM Dame Rosemary Butler said she was very pleased to accept the invitation to be on the commission which will also co-ordinate the 175th anniversary commemorations of the 1839 Chartist Rising.

She will serve alongside former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Chartist anniversary committee chairman Patrick Drewett, while Newport-born Hollywood film star Michael Sheen will advise them.

Dame Rosemary said: “I’m very pleased to accept the invitation. I’m looking forward to working with Dr Williams and Mr Drewett, both of them I know from having worked with in the past. I think public art is a good way of preserving history and bringing it to people’s everyday lives – there’s some very good public art in Newport already.”

Thousands of Chartists led by former Newport mayor John Frost marched to the Westgate Hotel on November 4, 1839, where fellow protestors were imprisoned. Soldiers opened fire, killing 22 Chartists.

The Chartists called for reforms, such as the vote for all men aged 21 and over.

The way Newport council demolished the Chartist Mural as part of the redevelopment of John Frost Square caused controversy last year. Proposals for a commission emerged after an intervention from Mr Sheen.