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New Black Lives Matter mural unveiled in city underpass following removal blunder

PUBLISHED: 16:57 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:56 06 June 2020

Graffiti artist Knapple with her latest Black Lives Matter mural, following the death of George Floyd in America, after the original one was blacked over in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Graffiti artist Knapple with her latest Black Lives Matter mural, following the death of George Floyd in America, after the original one was blacked over in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

A council has vowed to review its automated complaints system after it resulted in a mural supporting the Black Lives Matter movement being painted over by its contractors.

Graffiti artist Knapple working on her latest Black Lives Matter mural, following the death of George Floyd in America, after the original one was blacked over in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGraffiti artist Knapple working on her latest Black Lives Matter mural, following the death of George Floyd in America, after the original one was blacked over in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Following a complaint that the mural, under Pottergate in Norwich, was offensive an automatic instruction was sent to contractors Norse to cover it - which was promptly done.

Graffiti artist Knapple working on her latest Black Lives Matter mural, following the death of George Floyd in America, after the original one was blacked over in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGraffiti artist Knapple working on her latest Black Lives Matter mural, following the death of George Floyd in America, after the original one was blacked over in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The complaint was made through Norwich City Council, which has an automated system that immediately alerts contractors of jobs, including issues around fly-tipping, discarded syringes and anti-social behaviour.

The blacked out Black Lives Matter mural in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe blacked out Black Lives Matter mural in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

However, City Hall has said the system will now be reviewed, after the complaint saw what a council spokesperson described as “an important work of art” painted over.

Someone has added a heart on the blacked out Black Lives Matter mural in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSomeone has added a heart on the blacked out Black Lives Matter mural in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Meanwhile, the artist responsible for the original, Ruth ‘Knapple’ Knapp has worked alongside other artists to create a replacement mural, with the council’s blessing.

Someone has added a heart on the blacked out Black Lives Matter mural in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSomeone has added a heart on the blacked out Black Lives Matter mural in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She said: “It was a shame that it was removed. It was supposed to be a positive message but then everything is down to interpretation.”

The blacked out Black Lives Matter mural in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe blacked out Black Lives Matter mural in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: “On Thursday a complaint was made about offensive graffiti in the city. It was made online and went straight through an automated system to our contractor who, unfortunately, took action to paint over the mural.

Graffiti artist Knapple with her latest Black Lives Matter mural, following the death of George Floyd in America, after the original one was blacked over in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGraffiti artist Knapple with her latest Black Lives Matter mural, following the death of George Floyd in America, after the original one was blacked over in a 'misunderstanding' by the council in the Pottergate underpass. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“This has been a terrible misunderstanding and we will urgently work with our contractor to correct it.

“We do not consider this in any way to be offensive graffiti, we consider it an important work of art.

The city council lit up City Hall in purple on Thursday in solidarity with the Minneapolis community and in remembrance of George Floyd.

“We denounce racism in the strongest terms and stand in solidarity with members of the BAME community in Norwich, across the country and globally.”

The spokesman added that the council would like to commission the artist to reinstate the work and would consider financially contributing towards the costs of doing so.

The new mural reads ‘Educate on Equality’ and includes a picture of a black panther, referencing the Black Panther movement.

READ MORE: ‘Terrible misunderstanding’ led to Black Lives Matter mural being painted over


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