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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Art slogan mistaken for graffiti
The Timelords
Cauty (left) was part of novelty band the Timelords and The KLF
A slogan created by an artist who famously burned 1m has been scrubbed off the wall of a Sussex art gallery by cleaners who mistook it for graffiti.

James Cauty used white emulsion paint to scrawl "Portslade Massif" across the window and wall of the Ink-d gallery in Brighton to advertise his exhibition.

The Rize and Fall of the Portslade Massif opened there on Thursday.

Brighton and Hove City Council said the removal of the writing by its graffiti team was a "genuine mistake".

Who holds the right to say what is and isn't a form of expression?
Dan Hipkin, Ink-d gallery

But gallery studio director Dan Hipkin questioned the action, and said the slogan had been on private property.

He said he believed the cleaners feared the slogan - which referred to the exhibition's theme of gang culture - would create gang warfare locally.

"Brighton and Hove City Council, like anywhere, have problems with graffiti gangs but this is private property and my problems with the cleaning crew doing this is more about freedom of expression.

"Who holds the right to say what is and isn't a form of expression?

'Closing down sale'

"Who decides what is considered aggressive and if it was so offensive, why weren't the police called?"

Mr Hipkin said he had questioned whether the cleaners would have removed the slogan if it had said "closing down sale".

But he admitted the cleaners might have thought the gallery was disused because the window had been papered over ahead of Cauty's exhibition opening night.

James Cauty was a member of the 1990s bands The KLF and The Orb, and along with his former bandmate Bill Drummond, burned 1m of the royalties earned by KLF.

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