Save murals it makes sense

LAST week I read an article in this paper about a sort of last-ditch attempt to salvage the Chartist mural in the city centre. I am flabbergasted by all the rubbish (in my view) spoken by all the people who advocate its removal, and that includes all the local councillors, who wouldn’t know intellect if it smacked them full in the face. I spent 40 years in the Architect department for Newport Borough Council, designing many of their buildings, and I consistently met with a great deal of extremely bad taste and ridiculous proposals when creating my designs. Working with some councillors was always extremely testing to say the least. I haven’t seen the proposals for the new development, but in my view, any architect worth his salt could incorporate the wall containing the mural into any proposed design for the new centre. It would just take some adjustment to the design, but of course, when dealing with local councillors nothing counts that may be of value and worth keeping.

If anybody wants to challenge me in this context then get me a copy of the city centre proposals and I will show you how to save the murals in situ without any nonsense like moving them or copying them.

Brian Keen Brynhyfryd Road Newport

Comments (3)

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3:42pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Owain Vaughan says...

Why incorporate a dingy 1970s tunnel into a new development? People still won't be able to appreciate the mural. Copying them is the only sensible solution.

Frankly the whole saga has dragged on for far too long and the entire area needs razing as soon as possible.
Why incorporate a dingy 1970s tunnel into a new development? People still won't be able to appreciate the mural. Copying them is the only sensible solution. Frankly the whole saga has dragged on for far too long and the entire area needs razing as soon as possible. Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Indigo Pete says...

Mr Keen Save the Chartist Mural would be very grateful if you could assist us with your ideas to include the mural in the plans for the new development.
We are in dialogue with the council and the developers and would welcome your expertise. I look forward to hearing from you
Mr Keen Save the Chartist Mural would be very grateful if you could assist us with your ideas to include the mural in the plans for the new development. We are in dialogue with the council and the developers and would welcome your expertise. I look forward to hearing from you Indigo Pete
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Corda1983 says...

Owain, I don't think anybody is necessarily suggesting we keep the mural and accompanying tunnel 100% as it is, complete with dingy rafters and pigeon mess. But the mural could be kept in situ whilst razing the rest of the dingy elements.

It's easy enough to say it needs razing, but what is put up in its place needs to stand the test of time, or we'll be back here in 20 or 30 years time. The Council and property developers seem content to simply be rid of one of our best works of art and replace it with something that I can almost guarantee will be as dingy and dated in a decade or two's time. That's a pointless waste.

Looking at ways to create a new shopping complex whilst keeping and adding to the cultural works in the area is clearly the best way forward. Otherwise we'll have a repeat of our train station, which was essentially abandoned to a life of being nothing but office blocks in favour of building a really poor, temporary looking edifice a few hundred yards down the road. It's already looking dated and in the next decade I guarantee that will be yet another mildly embarrassing attempt at re-development in Newport.

Bottom line is, work with what you have. Newport, in fairness, doesn't have a huge amount, but we do have some great old buildings and some interesting, culturally relevant artwork. Don't let the mural become another Lyceum Theatre or Railway Station failure.
Owain, I don't think anybody is necessarily suggesting we keep the mural and accompanying tunnel 100% as it is, complete with dingy rafters and pigeon mess. But the mural could be kept in situ whilst razing the rest of the dingy elements. It's easy enough to say it needs razing, but what is put up in its place needs to stand the test of time, or we'll be back here in 20 or 30 years time. The Council and property developers seem content to simply be rid of one of our best works of art and replace it with something that I can almost guarantee will be as dingy and dated in a decade or two's time. That's a pointless waste. Looking at ways to create a new shopping complex whilst keeping and adding to the cultural works in the area is clearly the best way forward. Otherwise we'll have a repeat of our train station, which was essentially abandoned to a life of being nothing but office blocks in favour of building a really poor, temporary looking edifice a few hundred yards down the road. It's already looking dated and in the next decade I guarantee that will be yet another mildly embarrassing attempt at re-development in Newport. Bottom line is, work with what you have. Newport, in fairness, doesn't have a huge amount, but we do have some great old buildings and some interesting, culturally relevant artwork. Don't let the mural become another Lyceum Theatre or Railway Station failure. Corda1983
  • Score: 0

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