Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Banned art on Belfast display... after 33 years

Silver Liberties will hang in Belfast's Golden Thread Gallery
Silver Liberties will hang in Belfast's Golden Thread Gallery

A controversial painting that was banned from the Ulster Museum more than three decades ago will be displayed for the first time in Northern Ireland.

Silver Liberties by award-winning conceptual artist Conrad Atkinson sparked an outcry in 1978 after Protestant museum workers interpreted the work as a republican banner.

The painting; featuring the portraits of 13 victims killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972, was censored.

Now, 33 years later, the piece, which has remained in the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, will hang in the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast from tomorrow until December.

Mr Atkinson said: “I don’t think they (museum workers) ever looked at it. It was a knee-jerk reaction.”

He said he is delighted to return and see the piece finally exhibited.

Mairtin O Muilleoir, curator of the exhibition, described having the piece as “monumental”.

The exhibition at the Golden Thread Gallery will run until December 3.

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