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UK: Cat street art removed for ‘attracting antisocial behaviour’

26 November 2018
A cat mural by street artist Joachim in Chichester, England was removed after complaints it was “inappropriate” and “attracting antisocial behaviour”.
Photo: King of Cats / Joachim Official Instagram

 

The King of Cats mural by street artist Joachim was removed by the Chichester District Council in south England after residents complained the painting was “inappropriate” and “attracting antisocial behaviour”, Chichester Observer reported on 16 November 2018.

The black-and-white cat, which stood about 18-foot-high, was painted by the Belgian street artist in October 2017.

It wasn’t long before 62 residents signed a petition calling for the King of Cats to be removed. One complainant said the “nightmarish” cat had attracted additional “graffiti” within two days, while another described the artwork as “vandalism”, according to a list of complaints published in Chichester Observer, which were submitted to the council in October and November 2017.

The petition letter said “the cat has drug connotations in its design” and the area “is becoming a focal point for youths larking, intimidating and possibly exchanging drugs”.

Following the mural’s removal, Joachim was “inundated with messages of support” from the Chichester community, asking him to come back to their city, according to Graffiti Street.

“I know cats can cause all sorts of trouble but to put the blame on a wider social problem on my mural of the King of Cats is just incomprehensible,” Joachim told Chichester Observer.

“Across many cities over the world, street art has been known to make a positive impact on a city by further enhancing the city’s cultural status on a global level, bringing further tourism opportunities to the area in the process,” he said.

So Joachim went back to the same spot and painted another black-and-white mural—The Watchdog.

“Say hello to my latest mural ‘The Watchdog’ which has now replaced the badly erased mischievous ‘King of Cats’ and will keep the streets of Chichester (UK) safe again! Thanks again to the people of Chichester for the invitation and making me feel at home!” Joachim said on Instagram on 25 November.

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