‘Art police’ paint over controversial town centre murals

Bungay’s Fisher Theatre commissioned Vinnie Nylon to paint the artwork in the town to promote an exhibition of his and to give “something back” to the community.

Six murals were created in total and five, which were on listed buildings, have now been painted over after East Suffolk Council launched a probe.

East Anglian Daily Times: Five of the six murals were painted over, as they appeared on listed buildingsFive of the six murals were painted over, as they appeared on listed buildings (Image: Guy Campbell/BBC)

The work was investigated by East Suffolk Council’s enforcement department leading to an instruction being made to have them removed.

Theatre volunteers have now painted over the artwork and wore wearing ironic labels on their backs reading “Suffolk Art Police” as they did so.

Despite gaining permission from building owners, East Suffolk Council said “listed building consent needed to have been sought” before the painting began.

“Enforcement action was taken as the murals were not considered to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area,” the council added.

READ MORE: Bungay street art project under investigation… by conservation officers BARELY AS THE PAINT HAS DRIED

East Anglian Daily Times: Internationally commissioned artist Vinnie Nylon painting on Lower Olland Street in BungayInternationally commissioned artist Vinnie Nylon painting on Lower Olland Street in Bungay (Image: Bruno Brown)East Anglian Daily Times: Vinnie Nylon's work on the side of Discount Motor Parts Bungay, on Upper Olland StreetVinnie Nylon’s work on the side of Discount Motor Parts Bungay, on Upper Olland Street (Image: Bruno Brown)

Nicholas Usherwood, the curator of the Fisher Theatre Gallery, said: “Following the receipt of a complaint by a member of the public concerning the Vinnie Nylon murals the East Suffolk planning department investigated.

READ MORE: Cast ready for new pantomime season with Cinderella at Bungay Fisher Theatre

“They then issued a notice for these murals to be painted over and returned to their original colour by December 6.

“The trustees of the Fisher Theatre, which had been responsible for their commissioning in the first instance, decided that given their always essentially temporary character not to apply for retrospective planning permission but to comply with the order.

“The murals were then painted over by volunteers of the Fisher Theatre by the due date.”

The art had divided opinion in the town – and an initial investigation into the artwork was launched barely as the paint had dried.

East Anglian Daily Times: Vinnie Nylon's street art opposite the Bungay Fisher TheatreVinnie Nylon’s street art opposite the Bungay Fisher Theatre (Image: Bruno Brown)East Anglian Daily Times: Vinnie Nylon's work painted over opposite the Fisher TheatreVinnie Nylon’s work painted over opposite the Fisher Theatre (Image: Denise Bradley)

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The paintings were done on August 23, and only two days later East Suffolk Council announced it was investigating.

Just one mural remains on view, as it was painted on a modern, unlisted structure, an electricity box opposite The Green Dragon pub.

East Anglian Daily Times: Vinnie Nylon's street art opposite the Green Dragon Pub in Bungay is the only mural which remains in the townVinnie Nylon’s street art opposite the Green Dragon Pub in Bungay is the only mural which remains in the town (Image: Bruno Brown)

East Anglian Daily Times: The Sun on Quavers Lane in Bungay has been painted over The Sun on Quavers Lane in Bungay has been painted over (Image: Bruno Brown)

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