Manic Nicky Wire slams Newport's cultural ‘demolition’

Argus-Mark   Reporter-  27-01-11The Manic Street Preachers outside the Blackwood Miners Institute ahead of the Radio 2 concertJames Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore (8081896)

Argus-Mark Reporter- 27-01-11The Manic Street Preachers outside the Blackwood Miners Institute ahead of the Radio 2 concertJames Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore (8081896)

First published in Gwent news

MANIC Street Preachers bassist and Newport resident Nicky Wire has spoken of his frustration over cuts to culture in the city and across Wales.

Writing in the NME, he attacked the “wholesale hammering and demolition of culture” in the city, and said the demolition of the Chartist mural, the axing of Newport art gallery’s temporary exhibitions programme and the closure of the Welsh Music Foundation (WMF) are unprecedented.

He wrote: “I live in Newport and in the last few years I’ve never seen such a wholesale hammering and demolition of culture.

“Culture, art and music – these are actually things Wales is really good at and they are being destroyed.”

The WMF closed on July 1 after a three-year core-funding agreement with the Welsh Government expired and no other alternative income stream could be found.

And Newport council demolished the Chartist mural last October at part of the Friars Walk shopping centre development. Council leader Cllr Bob Bright later apologised on behalf of the council.

But a commission of three people, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, are part of a council-appointed panel to find a replacement for it and to decide on commemorations for the 175th anniversary celebrations of the Chartist Rising.

Comments (17)

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8:24am Fri 11 Jul 14

Lliswerry Man says...

Well said Nicky, very much welcomed that we are not alone in our thoughts on this.
Its a pity money talks and culture walks when it comes to Newport City Council and other local councils.

But their actions will never be forgotten at Voting time.
Well said Nicky, very much welcomed that we are not alone in our thoughts on this. Its a pity money talks and culture walks when it comes to Newport City Council and other local councils. But their actions will never be forgotten at Voting time. Lliswerry Man
  • Score: 33

8:44am Fri 11 Jul 14

bodlondon says...

NCC (& especially 2 Bob Bob) seem to feel that apologise after the event is the way to do things as opposed to get it right first
NCC (& especially 2 Bob Bob) seem to feel that apologise after the event is the way to do things as opposed to get it right first bodlondon
  • Score: 23

9:05am Fri 11 Jul 14

Ultimate Worrier says...

This is a culture of destruction, Nicky.
This is a culture of destruction, Nicky. Ultimate Worrier
  • Score: 17

9:17am Fri 11 Jul 14

davidcp says...

'Culture' should pay for itself, same as any other business.
'Culture' should pay for itself, same as any other business. davidcp
  • Score: -31

9:17am Fri 11 Jul 14

Mervyn James says...

I rather suspect the destruction of Newport culture began with the Victorians and Tredegar business overloads. Whoever sited a railway line and transport bridge in such close proximity to the castle ruined a lot. Then we had Newport Chavs and druggies using it as a urinal etc. An article by a Swedish visitor to Newport in the 1800s wrote "Newport is a dirty, little town infested with drunks and tramps who sleep in the gutter.. unkempt ragged children, and filth and dirt is everywhere..." Little appears to have changed. I always find pop stars pontificating from the security of their bank accounts rather perverse... Unlike some I don't agree the mural WAS of any historical value. The history of every city centre is based on old and new in conflict, maybe some would prefer the Swedish view of Newport returns... There is nothing left to preserve but the castle, and the bridges made that impossible. There was and is, little sentiment in business....
I rather suspect the destruction of Newport culture began with the Victorians and Tredegar business overloads. Whoever sited a railway line and transport bridge in such close proximity to the castle ruined a lot. Then we had Newport Chavs and druggies using it as a urinal etc. An article by a Swedish visitor to Newport in the 1800s wrote "Newport is a dirty, little town infested with drunks and tramps who sleep in the gutter.. unkempt ragged children, and filth and dirt is everywhere..." Little appears to have changed. I always find pop stars pontificating from the security of their bank accounts rather perverse... Unlike some I don't agree the mural WAS of any historical value. The history of every city centre is based on old and new in conflict, maybe some would prefer the Swedish view of Newport returns... There is nothing left to preserve but the castle, and the bridges made that impossible. There was and is, little sentiment in business.... Mervyn James
  • Score: -23

10:01am Fri 11 Jul 14

JJ1980 says...

Mervyn, you really are a numpty.

Newport has a proud history of art and music and even though our city isn't as pretty as Bath or Oxford, we've got heart and soul and the people are real. In fact that's sometimes all we have.

But taking away funding that will encourage creativity and culture is like taking a teddy bear from an orphan. Things are bad enough as it is without taking our souls as well.
Mervyn, you really are a numpty. Newport has a proud history of art and music and even though our city isn't as pretty as Bath or Oxford, we've got heart and soul and the people are real. In fact that's sometimes all we have. But taking away funding that will encourage creativity and culture is like taking a teddy bear from an orphan. Things are bad enough as it is without taking our souls as well. JJ1980
  • Score: 14

10:05am Fri 11 Jul 14

Magor says...

But it is the Capital of Chav Culture.
But it is the Capital of Chav Culture. Magor
  • Score: -21

10:22am Fri 11 Jul 14

Walter Devereux says...

The Chartist Mural was hardly "culture" was it? We can and will do better, unless your idea of the pinnacle of culture was the 1970s.
The Chartist Mural was hardly "culture" was it? We can and will do better, unless your idea of the pinnacle of culture was the 1970s. Walter Devereux
  • Score: -2

11:01am Fri 11 Jul 14

b3talover says...

Walter Devereux wrote:
The Chartist Mural was hardly "culture" was it? We can and will do better, unless your idea of the pinnacle of culture was the 1970s.
Culture = "the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively."
[quote][p][bold]Walter Devereux[/bold] wrote: The Chartist Mural was hardly "culture" was it? We can and will do better, unless your idea of the pinnacle of culture was the 1970s.[/p][/quote]Culture = "the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively." b3talover
  • Score: 9

12:32pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

"Manic Nicky Wire"

LOL:) The headline makes this sound like some nickname for a notorious 1960s Kray firm enforcer:))))
"Manic Nicky Wire" LOL:) The headline makes this sound like some nickname for a notorious 1960s Kray firm enforcer:)))) Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -1

3:46pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Mervyn James says...

JJ1980 wrote:
Mervyn, you really are a numpty.

Newport has a proud history of art and music and even though our city isn't as pretty as Bath or Oxford, we've got heart and soul and the people are real. In fact that's sometimes all we have.

But taking away funding that will encourage creativity and culture is like taking a teddy bear from an orphan. Things are bad enough as it is without taking our souls as well.
Culture in Newport is the multiple take away choices. While art feeds the soul, it doesn't feed the belly and most art is subsidized by us. Newport hasn't a culture has it ? Most pretend they are poor but English. I think culture is a luxury and undefinable in Newport, and art is in the eyes of the beholder and subjective. We are all up against it, and there are other priorities. I've always looked on arts and music as an issue that never aims at the common man anyway, it seems more to thrive on elitism.
[quote][p][bold]JJ1980[/bold] wrote: Mervyn, you really are a numpty. Newport has a proud history of art and music and even though our city isn't as pretty as Bath or Oxford, we've got heart and soul and the people are real. In fact that's sometimes all we have. But taking away funding that will encourage creativity and culture is like taking a teddy bear from an orphan. Things are bad enough as it is without taking our souls as well.[/p][/quote]Culture in Newport is the multiple take away choices. While art feeds the soul, it doesn't feed the belly and most art is subsidized by us. Newport hasn't a culture has it ? Most pretend they are poor but English. I think culture is a luxury and undefinable in Newport, and art is in the eyes of the beholder and subjective. We are all up against it, and there are other priorities. I've always looked on arts and music as an issue that never aims at the common man anyway, it seems more to thrive on elitism. Mervyn James
  • Score: -5

4:23pm Fri 11 Jul 14

dky1899 says...

My God...you don't need state funding to provide a city with culture...it comes from within. It can start with a couple of decent buskers (not known since the days of The Colours)...some street dance...local artists selling their art on the street, etc etc. Travel to any major city across Europe that has culture at its heart and this is what you will expect to find and none of this costs the tax payers. In the recent past, Newport was most famously renowned for a privately run band venue ... not for its council run museum or the tax funded street art and definitely not for some mural which glossed over the facts.

Very naive comments from Wire...after all the Manics never received state funding. Maybe he could start busking...it might attract a bit more footfall to the town centre.
My God...you don't need state funding to provide a city with culture...it comes from within. It can start with a couple of decent buskers (not known since the days of The Colours)...some street dance...local artists selling their art on the street, etc etc. Travel to any major city across Europe that has culture at its heart and this is what you will expect to find and none of this costs the tax payers. In the recent past, Newport was most famously renowned for a privately run band venue ... not for its council run museum or the tax funded street art and definitely not for some mural which glossed over the facts. Very naive comments from Wire...after all the Manics never received state funding. Maybe he could start busking...it might attract a bit more footfall to the town centre. dky1899
  • Score: 5

6:41pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Mervyn James says...

The only buskers (Sorry beggars), we see on Newport Streets are east-European.
The only buskers (Sorry beggars), we see on Newport Streets are east-European. Mervyn James
  • Score: -6

10:41pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Foxyboy3rd says...

Mervyn James wrote:
I rather suspect the destruction of Newport culture began with the Victorians and Tredegar business overloads. Whoever sited a railway line and transport bridge in such close proximity to the castle ruined a lot. Then we had Newport Chavs and druggies using it as a urinal etc. An article by a Swedish visitor to Newport in the 1800s wrote "Newport is a dirty, little town infested with drunks and tramps who sleep in the gutter.. unkempt ragged children, and filth and dirt is everywhere..." Little appears to have changed. I always find pop stars pontificating from the security of their bank accounts rather perverse... Unlike some I don't agree the mural WAS of any historical value. The history of every city centre is based on old and new in conflict, maybe some would prefer the Swedish view of Newport returns... There is nothing left to preserve but the castle, and the bridges made that impossible. There was and is, little sentiment in business....
Charles Wesley said pretty much the same when he came to the Port. Drunks and unfortunates everywhere .The police/council mightt do something about the dipsoes and druggies once the new shopping development opens , so as not to dissuade shoppers . But Newport is the big draw for the Gwent valleys addicts making it worse than it is elsewhere, in Cardiff etc their antics etc wouldn't be tolerated.
Culturewiise you have to admire the likes of those who put so much effort into the likes of the Dolman production and the Maindee and Pill festivals/carnivals etc.
[quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: I rather suspect the destruction of Newport culture began with the Victorians and Tredegar business overloads. Whoever sited a railway line and transport bridge in such close proximity to the castle ruined a lot. Then we had Newport Chavs and druggies using it as a urinal etc. An article by a Swedish visitor to Newport in the 1800s wrote "Newport is a dirty, little town infested with drunks and tramps who sleep in the gutter.. unkempt ragged children, and filth and dirt is everywhere..." Little appears to have changed. I always find pop stars pontificating from the security of their bank accounts rather perverse... Unlike some I don't agree the mural WAS of any historical value. The history of every city centre is based on old and new in conflict, maybe some would prefer the Swedish view of Newport returns... There is nothing left to preserve but the castle, and the bridges made that impossible. There was and is, little sentiment in business....[/p][/quote]Charles Wesley said pretty much the same when he came to the Port. Drunks and unfortunates everywhere .The police/council mightt do something about the dipsoes and druggies once the new shopping development opens , so as not to dissuade shoppers . But Newport is the big draw for the Gwent valleys addicts making it worse than it is elsewhere, in Cardiff etc their antics etc wouldn't be tolerated. Culturewiise you have to admire the likes of those who put so much effort into the likes of the Dolman production and the Maindee and Pill festivals/carnivals etc. Foxyboy3rd
  • Score: 4

10:49pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Foxyboy3rd says...

Charles Wesley said pretty much the same when he came to the Port. Drunks and unfortunates everywhere .The police/council mightt do something about the dipsoes and druggies once the new shopping development opens , so as not to dissuade shoppers . But Newport is the big draw for the Gwent valleys addicts making it worse than it is elsewhere, in Cardiff etc their antics etc wouldn't be tolerated.
Culturewiise you have to admire the likes of those who put so much effort into the likes of the Dolman production and the Maindee and Pill festivals/carnivals etc.
Charles Wesley said pretty much the same when he came to the Port. Drunks and unfortunates everywhere .The police/council mightt do something about the dipsoes and druggies once the new shopping development opens , so as not to dissuade shoppers . But Newport is the big draw for the Gwent valleys addicts making it worse than it is elsewhere, in Cardiff etc their antics etc wouldn't be tolerated. Culturewiise you have to admire the likes of those who put so much effort into the likes of the Dolman production and the Maindee and Pill festivals/carnivals etc. Foxyboy3rd
  • Score: 2

7:42am Sat 12 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

I bought some Culture in Newport Market yesterday. £1.69p a slice. They wanted two pound a slice but I said, "I aint paying that for no fancy nancy arty stuff mate, this is Zooport, you can get tinned Culture in Poundstretchers for a quid". Very tasty it is too once you warm it up a bit in the microwave.
I bought some Culture in Newport Market yesterday. £1.69p a slice. They wanted two pound a slice but I said, "I aint paying that for no fancy nancy arty stuff mate, this is Zooport, you can get tinned Culture in Poundstretchers for a quid". Very tasty it is too once you warm it up a bit in the microwave. KarloMarko
  • Score: 2

8:49am Sat 12 Jul 14

Roger Elliot says...

We need more Nicky Wires and less sell-outs such as Billy Bragg the Lib Dem Slag
We need more Nicky Wires and less sell-outs such as Billy Bragg the Lib Dem Slag Roger Elliot
  • Score: 1

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