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Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2006, 14:00 GMT
Popular local mural under threat
Mural on west London bridge
Community mural by local children needs restoration
A community mural painted by children on a railway bridge is under threat due to a lack of funds to maintain it.

Mill Lane railway bridge in West Hampstead, north west London, has become a proud landmark for residents after it was decorated six years ago.

Artist Charlotte Gerrard, who organised the artwork, is campaigning for Network Rail to pay for its restoration.

But Network Rail have so far refused, saying the work would not fit their "standard maintenance regime".

The mural encompasses 64 different panels, depicting colourful images such as a palm tree, sunshine and a desert island, representing the diversity of the local community.

Community pride

"We really want to restore it, and we really want to have it looking fresh again just because people need to have pride in their local environment," said Ms Gerrard.

If it was graffittied over how would we then go about restoring it again?
Network Rail

Network Rail have argued that they are unable to use public funds for the artwork, and that they need to paint bridges grey in order to easily cover graffiti.

"[If] it was graffittied over how would we then go about restoring it again? We cannot make an exception here because we are spending public money," said a Network Rail spokesman.

But Ms Gerrard believes the cost of restoring the mural would be cheaper than hiring contractors to paint the bridge back to the standard grey.

There have been offers by local estate agents to contribute to the restoration, and there are plans for a collection by local residents.

Art project slammed as 'graffiti'
01 Sep 06 |  Southern Counties
Community mural stolen by vandals
17 May 06 |  Somerset

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