Chartist mural to be re-created in library
NEWPORT’S historic Chartist mural which will be demolished to make for the city centre redevelopment is to be recreated on ceramic tiles and displayed in Newport Central Library.
The image representing the Chartist Uprising of 1839 which ended in bloodshed outside the Westgate Hotel will be re-made with the approval of the original artist Kenneth Budd’s son Oliver.
It was the preferred option of residents who took part in a recent consultation and the council is working to find the £22,000 cost.
Cabinet member for leisure and culture, councillor Mike Hamilton, said: “Although it is a shame the original mural cannot be preserved, this option will see it recreated just yards from its original home and will keep it on display for future generations to discover and enjoy.”
Plans to demolish the 34-year-old wall art, built in the tunnel between John Frost Square and Austin Friars to make way for the Frairs Walk development, sparked fury among thousands who signed a petition against it in 2007.
It won a reprieve when the scheme fell through in 2009, but as plans for the new scheme are to be discussed next week, residents were asked for their views on what should replace it.
Other suggestions, which were rejected, included recreating one section of the original mural costing £50,000, to make a reinterpretation of the original which would be displayed at another city centre location, or to make a new Chartistthemed artwork.
Built in 1978, the mural is 35-metre long and is made up of more than 200,000 pieces of broken tile and Venetian smalti.
The council said the original would be impossible to preserve and too expensive to reconstruct.
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