Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 14:18 UK

Narnia artwork replaces UVF mural

By David Rowney
BBC News

The Narnia artwork has replaced a UVF mural

A mural dedicated to Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis has replaced one supporting a Northern Ireland paramilitary group.

The mural adorns a wall in the Dee Street area of east Belfast, a short distance from where Lewis was born in 1898.

It had previously displayed images of the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force.

The artwork was unveiled by First Minister Peter Robinson, who is also MP for the area.

"I do admire CS Lewis and to come along to celebrate his life didn't take a lot of persuasion," he said.

The politician also praised local people for allowing people the Narnia inspired artwork to be painted.

"This mural wouldn't be here today if there wasn't people comfortable with changing it from a paramilitary mural to this," he said.

"That indicates to me that people are moving on and people want to see a brighter future for young people."

Children from the Carew Family and Training Centre joined Mr Robinson at the unveiling.

CS Lewis mural
The mural was unveiled by First Minister Peter Robinson

"I was a young fellow when the so-called Troubles started in Northern Ireland," he continued.

"I was out on the barricades with the people that I grew up with. I had to make a choice and I moved into politics.

"Some of them remained in paramilitary organisations, so I understand how many people got introduced into paramilitary organisations."

Belfast-born Lewis became famous across the globe for his Narnia books, including The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, the film version of which opens at UK cinemas this month.

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17 May 03 |  Northern Ireland
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