Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Castle graffiti should stay: Earl

A peer has asked to keep a controversial graffiti mural on the walls of his family's 13th century castle
A peer has asked to keep a controversial graffiti mural on the walls of his family's 13th century castle

A peer has asked to keep a controversial graffiti mural on the walls of his family's 13th century castle.

The Earl of Glasgow has written to Historic Scotland seeking guidance on whether the exhibit, which took 1500 cans of enamel auto spray paint to complete, might be allowed to remain as a permanent feature of Kelburn Castle, in Largs, Ayrshire.

Work on the mural, which features a psychedelic series of interwoven cartoons depicting surreal urban culture, was completed by a group of Brazilian graffiti artists commissioned by the earl's son and daughter in 2007 at a cost of £20,000.

It was permitted by North Ayrshire Council on the understanding that it was temporary.

A three year limit was put on the graffiti, pending the start of work to replace the harling render on the exterior of the turret.

The castle is located in the grounds of Kelburn Estate, which also houses a country centre open to the public and featuring a series of outdoor attractions.

The mural has become a popular feature and last month it was named as one of the world's top 10 examples of street art by author and designer Tristan Manco - on a par with Banksy's work in Los Angeles and the Favela Morro Da Providencia in Rio de Janeiro.

The latest memorandum of guidance published by Historic Scotland states that owners of listed properties should only use "historically correct colours in a manner which is appropriate to the building".

It adds: "Where more than one colour is to be used, they should all relate to the architectural features of the whole building in a logical and consistent manner. The painting of one storey a different colour from another, or indeed any part of the building differently from the remainder, should always be avoided."

The earl, Patrick Boyle, whose family has been in Kelburn Castle for 800 years, has written to Ranald MacInnes, Historic Scotland's principal inspector for Glasgow and the south west, seeking to establish whether it is likely the agency would object if he sought consent from the local authority to allow the graffiti to stay indefinitely.

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