20th Century Society Slams Destruction Of Public Artwork In Cardiff

By Culture24 Staff | 14 November 2008
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  • Archived article
a photo of a mural on the side of a building

Courtesy the 20th Century Society

The Twentieth Century Society are asking the public to keep an eye out for murals and public artworks that may be at risk after Cardiff City Council granted planning permission allowing developers to destroy a key piece of public art in the Welsh capital.

Ray Howard Jones' large scale ‘An Eye for the People’ dating from 1959, once adorned the side Thomson House. Both have now been demolished to make way for a new building.

The artwork graced the exterior of the headquarters of South Wales’ leading newspaper, The Western Mail, for nearly half a century. At 10.68 metres (35 feet) high, the mosaic, constructed in Italy, was much loved by locals and was a landmark for anyone visiting the city.

a photo of a mural on an office block

Courtesy the 20th Century Society

“The Cardiff mosaic with its vibrant colours was a glorious example of post-war mural art - fine art triumphantly transposed to a public space,” said Dr Lynn Pearson, architectural historian, author and the UK’S foremost expert on post-war murals.

“Sited in the Welsh capital, carried out by an artist who was uniquely inspired by Wales, the artwork conveyed in abstract form, images redolent of the Welsh countryside. The mural was an integral part of post-war Wales. Its destruction was pure vandalism. Now this has gone, nothing is safe.”

The C20 Society are due to launch a website at the beginning of December 2008 celebrating the best post-war murals in the country and Eye for the People was due to be the Welsh representative on the site.

The Society say they will still be adding it to the site as a reminder that senseless acts like this are still happening.

Find out more about the 20th Century Society at www.c20society.org.uk

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