Emma Geliot's picture

Newport Chartist Mural, The Budds

The Chartist Murals in Newport that mark the historic rising in 1839 are set for demolition to make way for a new retail development.The murals, which are the work of artist Kenneth Budd,were installed in 1978and have become a key feature on the landscape of the city. But despite efforts from local campaigners to get them listed by Cadw (the Welsh Government's historic environment service)Newport Council has now announced that they plan to demolish the 35m mural to prepare the site of a100m shopping centre.

Since the demolition of the mural was first mooted by the council an active and highly vocal group of campaigners have been trying to save it. The latest news that the building it is attached to and the walkway in which it is sited does not merit listed status from Cadw has led to the Save Our Chartist Mural Campaign supporters to organise a demonstration on Saturday 05 October.

Protestors will gather in John Frost Square at noon and invite anyone who shares their belief that the mural, which marks such a key moment in the history of Newport and the wider struggle for equality and democracy, to join them and to bring banners, placards, musical instruments and other noise-makers.

At the time of publishingthe 'Save Our Chartist Mural' campaign has attracted nearly 2,000 facebook followers and close to 4,000 signatories to the petition.

Readers who cannot attend the demonstration but would like to show their (1,600+ facebook followers and 3,400+ petitioners) by signing the petition or joining the campaign on line via twitter and facebook.

It is hoped that the demonstration will convince the council to find a way of preserving and ultimately relocating the mural before this landmark work of art is lost forever to the citizens of Newport and the visitors that the city hopes to attract with its regeneration plans.

***Update*** CCQ learned today that demolition work began on the Chartist Mural on the morning of 03 October. Read more here

It seems that Newport Council pre-empted Saturday's demonstration but have left lots of questions unanswered about the way they calculated the cost of preserving, storing and re-locating the mural and their indifference to the feelings of the residents of Newport.