Lynne Featherstone MP has today condemned Haringey Council, after they admitted that missing artwork in Muswell Hill was washed away by one of their contractors. The portraits had mysteriously vanished earlier this week.
The public portrait display was of local traders, who are speaking out in support of local trade as part of a global art project called Inside Out.
The artist, Matt Humphrey, had wanted to ‘give a face’ to the plight that independent local traders, shopkeepers and creatives are currently facing.
The pictures had attracted a lot of attention, from local press and local residents alike. However, they have now disappeared for good, after being washed away by the Council.
The Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green had written directly to the Council two days ago demanding an explanation, as soon as the removal of the art was brought to her attention.
Muswell Hill Liberal Democrat Councillor Gail Engert commneted:
“If officers had simply picked up the phone to the Muswell Hill Councillors, we could have explained the significance of the art to them.
“This would have avoided this incredibly embarrassing situation for the Council, and saved the delightful community portraits.”
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“It is a travesty that Haringey Council removed this artwork. They were fantastic portraits of local traders – inspiring a great sense of community cohesion and originality.
“You would think that after the Banksy saga, the Council would have learnt that people simply do not like high quality street art being removed from their area.
“I cannot believe that common sense didn’t kick in at any point before the pictures were washed away. And shockingly, they did not even attempt to contact the artist before they removed them.
“This is unfortunately just typical of Labour-run Haringey Council – no common sense and no connection with the local community. Residents deserve better.”