Call to remove pro-Palestine mural from building

Campaigners in Worcester are defending a pro-Palestine mural they say is at risk of being removed by the council.

The mural appeared on Silver Street in Lowesmoor in March and features journalists Lama Jamous and Noor Harazeen.

But UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) have written to Worcester City Council to say the mural breaches planning regulations and have called for it to be removed.

A spokesperson for Worcester City Council said the matter was subject to an “ongoing planning enforcement investigation”, and the land owners had been invited to submit a retrospective application.

The artwork was created by artist Auberi Chen after a fundraiser was launched by campaigner Sam Iqbal on behalf of the Worcester Palestine Solidarity Campaign and art platform Creative Debuts.

UKLFI director Caroline Turner, in a letter to the council, said she was “extremely concerned” about the mural.

She added: “The murals do not foster good relations between different communities and have proved divisive in the locations where they have been painted.”

A Worcester City Council statement sent to the BBC said: “This is an ongoing planning enforcement investigation.

“We have confirmed to the site owner that the mural is an advert for planning purposes, it does not appear to benefit from any deemed consent or exemptions within the Advertisement Regulations.

The authority pointed out that the site was also in a conservation area.

“The owner could decide to submit a retrospective planning application to retain the mural as it currently is, or look to make changes to the mural to remedy the breach of planning control,” it added.

“We are waiting to hear what the site owner’s intentions are.”