'We should have had a say over King of Cats' says group of Chichester artists

A group of designers in Chichester have voiced their opinions on the King of Cats and The Watchdog murals.

Fresh street art appears in Chichester after artist's original work was painted over
Design Collective Chichester has released a statement after Belgian artist Joachim flew in to paint his latest piece — The Watchdog.

The three states of the wall in North Pallant

The three states of the wall in North Pallant

Weeks earlier, his first work in Chichester King of Cats, was painted over following 62 complaints to Chichester District Council.

Street artist responds after his work, King of Cats, is painted over in Chichester
A spokesman for Design Collective Chichester said: "The vast majority in Chichester love the street art that has sprung up around our city streets.

"It gives joy to so many residents and visitors of all ages, adding another dimension to our beautiful city. Street art is such an important form of art. It draws people to a city and provides an opportunity for visitors and locals to share images via social media, raising its profile too.

Tweet featured King of Cats on city trail — a week after it was painted over
"So why did it take a letter supported by a mere 62 signatories to convince the council that ‘The King of Cats’, a much-loved piece by well-known Street Artist Joachim, must go? We see no evidence that the council sought to invite wider views before making a decision that detrimentally affected us all.

King of Cats poll: 92 per cent vote for art over blank wall
"As soon as the news reached the wider community, there was an outcry across social media. Thousands expressed their shock, sadness and disgust that this matter was swept through behind closed doors. Over 4000 people responded to a Chichester Observer poll on the issue, with an overwhelming 92% voting in favour to keep The King of Cats. But, of course, that was too late… the matter, and artwork, had literally been whitewashed.

Why the King of Cats graffiti was removed
"Design Collective Chichester is a group formed by and consisting of design professionals in and around Chichester including architects, graphic designers, illustrators, interior designers and more. We would have valued the opportunity to input into this debate before it was too late – and welcome future consultation on important decisions relating to art and design. We urge Chichester Council to embrace social media to ensure they reach all groups within the communities they represent.

Chichester street art removed for 'attracting antisocial behaviour'
"Thanks to the wonders of social media, Joachim heard the call of the people and accepted their invitation to him to return to Chichester. During the small hours of Saturday night he returned and gave us a wonderful new piece of artwork: ‘The Watchdog’ - designed to look over and protect the people of Chichester against antisocial behaviour. We hope it helps keep other art safe."

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