Bristol City Council has told a community group in Stokes Croft to get rid of a piece of graffiti from a legal ‘practice wall’ because it contained the f-word.
The council’s ‘Clean and Green’ boss Denise James asked local activist Chris Chalkley to paint out the offending word as it was deemed “offensive” and the council has “a duty to remove the offensive wording.”
The boards were originally established by the council, but were given to community group the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC) as a practice wall for street artists.
PRSC founder Chris Chalkley said he did not believe local people were offended by it. He said: “I took a straw poll in the area and from an admittedly small sample, 73% said they did not find the f-word offensive.
“So it shows that people in Stokes Croft value freedom of expression over the sensibilities of what is a minority in the area.”
He also said that establishing the wall had reduced the amount of problem graffiti.
He told us: “Local residents all report that since the practice was was established, there has been a diminution in the tagging that has been a bit of a blight on the city.
“Having this medium for expression has meant that there has been less damage elsewhere.
“I don’t think the council need to be our moral guardians, but if they’ve had complaints what they’ve done was right in writing a polite letter.”
“We were preparing a witty response but in the event it all blew over because it was painted out by another piece of work, as happens on practice walls.”
In a statement, the council told #SITE_NAME#: “Bristol City Council is always keen to work positively with the local community and artists, which is why we gave permission for street artists to use these boards in the Stokes Croft Area.
“However a picture which heavily features a four letter word will undoubtedly be highly offensive to many people and will not enhance the area. We therefore have a duty to see that it is removed.”
Pictured: (above) the graffiti the council objected to and (below) how it was covered over by another artist