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Graffiti or street art? More cats have appeared along the NDR

PUBLISHED: 07:32 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:56 10 May 2019

A cat which has appeared on a junction box by the road. Pic: Archant.

A cat which has appeared on a junction box by the road. Pic: Archant.

A mystery graffiti artist has struck again - but is it vandalism or a burgeoning business?

One of the cats which has appeared on the Brodland Northway. Pic: Archant.One of the cats which has appeared on the Brodland Northway. Pic: Archant.

The enigmatic culprit creating character cats by the NDR in Norwich has added something new to the repertoire.

Motorists using the NDR have been bemused by the appearances of large colourful cats whose cheeky faces have been springing up in different places en route since first spotted by this newspaper two months ago.

Now, next to one of the large felines daubed over one of the bridges, a second, smaller cat has appeared along with a website address for the Eastern Daily Press.

The new cat which has appeared on one of the bridges on the Broadland Northway. Pic: Archant.The new cat which has appeared on one of the bridges on the Broadland Northway. Pic: Archant.

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Whether the artist - dubbed 'Catsy' - is a fan or it implies the artist saw his or her work when the story was reported in March remains unclear.

The works are similar to the stenciled rats that appeared in cities and towns when the world's most famous street artists Banksy began working in the 1990s.

But is Catsy set to build a multi-million pound empire from his felines just like Banksy did?

Artist Gennadiy Ivanov, who paints bold and thoughtful works in a spontaneous realism style from his studio and gallery on Upper St Giles Street, Norwich, does not think so.

The cat which appeared back in March on the Broadland Northway bridge. Pic: Archant.The cat which appeared back in March on the Broadland Northway bridge. Pic: Archant.

He said: "Art is always subjective but to me this is just vandalism. There is so much graffiti around Norwich and I don't like it, I don't think it is very good, it's just a character.

"It would be much more interesting for school children to create something beautiful with flowers or birds."

However street art is now a dominant force in galleries around the globe. Norwich City Council launched a project in 2016 with the first Cities of Stories mural painted on the side of a building on Ber Street.

Artist Rory Macbeth also created the much-loved mural depicting Sir Thomas More's entire novel Utopia on a wall in Duke Street car park.

The mural on the building earmarked for demolition in the Duke Street car park. Pic: Archant.The mural on the building earmarked for demolition in the Duke Street car park. Pic: Archant.

The council has, however, a strict policy on such art and if artwork appears on buildings without the owner's permission it is considered an offence.

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: "We understand the difference between street art, which is generally regarded as an artistic and considered intervention, and graffiti which is generally considered to have a negative impact.

"Street art can include painting, writing and murals on buildings, walls, the street and park furniture or other structure.

"However we would strongly advise against anyone putting their own and others' personal safety at risk on bridges or near fast moving traffic."

Artist Gennidiy Ivanova at his studio and gallery on Upper St Giles Street. Pic: Archant.Artist Gennidiy Ivanova at his studio and gallery on Upper St Giles Street. Pic: Archant.

Are you Catsy? Email caroline.culot@archant.co.uk

The first mural Cities of Stories on a building on Ber Street, launched three years ago. Pic: Archant.The first mural Cities of Stories on a building on Ber Street, launched three years ago. Pic: Archant.

Artist Rory Macbeth who painted Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia' on the side of a building in the Duke Street car park. Pic: Archant.Artist Rory Macbeth who painted Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia' on the side of a building in the Duke Street car park. Pic: Archant.

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