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Why are blue plaques appearing all over Norwich?

PUBLISHED: 15:34 18 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 18 May 2019

One of the blue plaques commemorating women throughout history in Norwich. Photo: Kyle Iverson

One of the blue plaques commemorating women throughout history in Norwich. Photo: Kyle Iverson

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People visiting Norwich this week have been spotting mysterious blue plaques in some of the city's well-known locations.

One of the blue plaques commemorating women throughout history in Norwich. Photo: Kyle IversonOne of the blue plaques commemorating women throughout history in Norwich. Photo: Kyle Iverson

The handmade signs were created to pay tribute to influential Norwich women and draw attention to their plight for equal rights through the ages.

Although the pieces have been mounted anonymously, a Twitter account called "rosiesplaques" has claimed responsibility for the pop-up protest.

In a tweet sent on May 16, the account said: "Over 300 plaques celebrating places/ people/ events in Norwich. 25 for women. Our fine city deserves better."

The plaques have been spotted at locations across the city, including on the exterior wall by the Norwich Quaker Meeting House on Upper Goat Lane.

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The piece reads "dedicated to the profane and opinionated women who gathered here", commemorating the women who were removed from the building in the 1900s for speaking out about women's rights and the environment.

Another, placed outside cinema city on St Andrews Street, reads: "1909 at the place our women held the line", referencing the thousands of suffragettes who interrupted a meeting chaired by Winston Churchill in the city.

Although placed on historical buildings, the anonymous artist said that they took care to ensure they did not damage any walls in mounting them.

Talia Winters, who lives in Norwich with her two daughters, said she was thrilled to see a project recognising Norwich women.

She said: "History and the way we tell it is always dominated by men and tends to erase women from the story. This is a subtle way to draw attention to that. I can't believe it hasn't been done before."

Fans of the plaques have dubbed the series an "unofficial fringe event" to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and many have taken to Twitter to express their approval.

The Norwich Research School tweeted: "We LOVE this! Of 300 blue plaques on buildings across Norwich, only 25 are dedicated to women. A temporary art installation is changing that: @rosiesplaques have put up their own handcrafted blue plaques dedicated to Norwich's radical women throughout history. Look out for them!"

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