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Locals gutted as iconic mural removed

Local residents of Leicester have been left ‘gutted’ after a 12ft high mural which celebrates Leicester City football club’s 2015/16 Premier League success was painted over.

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The mural featured thirteen players and the club’s manager at the time. Image: Mat Fascione

The 4m high x 50m wide mural took London-based artist and van driver, Richard Wilson, over a month to complete and features the club’s manager Claudio Ranieri and starting line-up, including Kasper Schmeichel, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.

Wilson first painted Ranieri as a tribute to the “inspiring run” Leicester City were making in the Premier League. When the owner of the building at the time saw Wilson’s work, he commissioned him to complete a full mural dedicated to the team.

Speaking to the Guardian at the time the mural was finished, Wilson says: “I don’t know anyone in Leicester and had only been there once before, and that was about 15 years ago, but I took a couple of days off work and drove up there with a ladder and some spray paint.

“I was confident I’d eventually find a wall to paint; Leicester was surely buzzing off the back of their team’s achievements and someone there would be keen on that being reflected in a mural.”

However, three years on and the mural has been removed as part of redevelopment plans to the building which is now under new ownership.

I was confident I’d eventually find a wall to paint; Leicester was surely buzzing off the back of their team’s achievements and someone there would be keen on that being reflected in a mural

Leicestershire Live reports that new owner, Stephen Levy says he plans to create 12 flats at the back and rear of the building – which means putting windows in the wall.

Despite the shock and sadness of locals having witnessed the mural being painted over in a dark grey, Levy says the mural is to be relocated once a suitable site has been found.

“I can say that we are putting the mural back up,” Levy tells Leicestershire Live. “We are paying for that and it will be at a high cost and we will be putting it in a more prominent location.

“I appreciate the love people have for it. I am a Leicester City supporter myself but it’s definitely going to be more prominent and hopefully people will appreciate it more.”

The iconic mural brought with it a lot of passing trade, and there are concerns among local businesses of the impact the removal of the artwork may have on business.

At the time of writing, only paintings of two of the thirteen players remain on the front of the building.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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