Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Monday, 31 August 2009 16:12 UK

Public to decide art or graffiti?

Graffitii in Bristol
The council proposal 'seeks to define and support the display of public art'

People living in Bristol may be asked to vote on whether graffiti should be left on buildings or removed, in an attempt to promote street artists.

Under the plan, the city council will ask the public to decide whether murals are art or graffiti tags.

As part of a street art policy, council contractors will not take action if people vote to keep wall paintings.

The proposal will be debated at a meeting of Bristol City Council on 15 September.

'Positive contribution'

Although the council has pledged to remove offensive and unsightly graffiti, a street art policy will "seek to define and support the display of public art".

The plan states that "where people tell us that murals or artworks make a positive contribution to the local environment and where the property owner has raised no objection" the council will not remove the graffiti.

Councillor Gary Hopkins said: "We have said informally that if it is street art that people like we will keep it, but we want to formalise it now into a policy.

"People want us to keep up the war against the taggers so we have had to work out a way to differentiate between the taggers and the artists.

"Tagging is still removed, but if it is art that people say they want to see they can take a photo and upload it on to our consultation website and we will ask people they think."

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