Chichester art quashed by ‘conservative’ council

A blue fox, by artist Hitnes was painted in North Street for the Chichester street art festival
A blue fox, by artist Hitnes was painted in North Street for the Chichester street art festival
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‘STUNNING’ artwork which has drawn thousands of visitors to the city will be scrubbed because of pressure from a select group of city councillors.

Sara Cross is reluctant to lose the blue fox, which is painted on the side of her Grade II listed property in North Street.

But she has been forced to bow to pressure from outspoken councillors.

“We don’t want to be upsetting anyone. If we weren’t selling the house we would be fighting.”

“The councillors who are against the street art need to be a bit more forward thinking,” said Mrs Cross.

“There is room for things like this in Chichester.

“The art is stunning and we are really proud of it. We see people taking photographs of it every day.”

Speaking at a recent Chichester City Council meeting, councillor Richard Plowman said action needed to be taken to remove the art.

“We live in a conservation area, and the street art seems to be ignoring these things.”

Neil Lawson Baker, executive chairman of The Chichester Art Trust said Sara and Simon Cross are ‘very sad’ to be making the decision.

“They have had the most amazing response to the HITNES painting on their building.

A number of schools have recently used this work to inspire their students.

“It has been the subject of a great deal of interest from photographers, artists and the general public coming from far and wide to see it.”

Mr Lawson Baker said he has heard many leading names say it will not enhance the reputation of the city or district councils if they are seen to ‘stifle good quality art’.

“It has livened up a city with a reputation for being over-conservative,” he said.

“It does seem a very negative step to take to remove a work bringing in visitors who bring business to our city.”

Danielle Humphrey, from Chichester was spotted admiring the painting with her children on Wednesday.

“It’s wonderful, it would really be a shame if they took it down,” she said. “We love walking round and pointing out the art.”

A spokesperson for Chichester District Council said organisers were aware of the ‘temporary nature of the event’. “We especially drew attention to the need to remove the artwork in North Street within 12 weeks because it is a listed building.

“That time has now passed and we are liaising with the Chichester Street Art Festival organisers to remove the artwork on that building and in other sensitive locations to bring the event to an end.”