Second mural defaced as Bimini anger grows
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson/ Contributed
Norwich Pride has hit out at the painting over of a mural tribute to Norfolk Drag Race UK star Bimini Bon Boulash - as it emerged another mural was defaced at the same time.
A mural was painted in the Pottergate underpass in Norwich last week as a tribute to Bimini, who used to live in Great Yarmouth and was born in Norwich.
Painted by local artist Knapple and transgender activist Sharpay Salazar, the mural was covered on Sunday morning, with the characters 'N3XOR' now visible instead.
Another mural with the words 'The Future is Female' was also defaced at the same time.
Julie Bremner, founder and trustee of Norwich Pride, said: "It seems a real shame. I walk near there every day and it is an ever changing artists' area of graffiti.
"It's very disappointing as we loved it and Knapple has done some fantastic work promoting inclusion for the community over the last year or so. Maybe she will do another one, but the sentiment of this is disappointing."
Ms Bremner continued: "Bimini was excellent. It is about transgender rights which Norwich Pride is all about and what the mural was also about.
"I hope most people were proud of it and lots of people were going to see it as well. Who knows about it being painted, I just hope they [Knapple] keep doing their graffiti."
Many people have posted on our Facebook page in reaction to the mural being painted over.
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Claire Padwicke posted: "Why are people so cruel and nasty? I've been part of Pride and the Drag Queens look amazing. Whatever happened to live and let live?"
Robbie Preston said: "Absolutely gutted to be honest. How embarrassing that we couldn't accept a non binary Drag Queen in Norwich in 2021."
And Frankie Horn described it as "disgusting vandalism" after the mural was painted over.
It is not the first time work created by Knapple has been painted over at the location with graffiti supporting Black Lives Matter covered back in August 2020.
At the time, Norwich City Council said the artist could restore the mural after a contractor painted over the graffiti.
But the person responsible for the Bimini mural being covered is not known at this stage.
A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: “The underspace of the Pottergate flyover is a designated graffiti space in the city and we absolutely welcome positive art pieces there, such as the Bimini Bon Boulash mural.
"We are disappointed that somebody has painted over this important piece of art which depicts such a message of inclusivity.”
A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said: "It does not appear to have been reported to the police at this stage but it has been brought to our attention and is being investigated."
Knapple has said she will not be commenting on the matter.