Roa Artwork Covered Up With Council Advert

By M@ Last edited 72 months ago
Roa Artwork Covered Up With Council Advert

One of London's most famous works of street art has been "vandalised" by Tower Hamlets council. The giant crane of Hanbury Street, painted a couple of years ago by Belgian artist Roa, is now obscured by a council banner promoting Brick Lane as Curry Capital 2012.

The crane carries symbolic importance for Bengalis, who make up a significant proportion of the local population. Roa created the art work with the consent of the community and without a fee. It has become something of a landmark, with dozens of photographs on Flickr.

Journalist Ted Jeory has dug a little deeper and believes the advert might have been erected without permission of the building's owner. Global Street Art also asserts that the banner is illegal. In any case, it seems entirely unnecessary. How do you get to Hanbury Street without noticing that there's an awful lot of curry selling in the area?

If you agree that placing an advert over a piece of art work is A Bad Thing, there's a petition you can sign here.

Roa's work has been threatened by authorities before. In 2010, his Hackney Road rabbit was condemned by Hackney Council. A petition and widespread press coverage saved it.

Image by M@ (left) and Shafi Rahman (right, via Global Street Art).

Last Updated 18 May 2012

Writers Bench

just hang off the poster, im sure it will come off quite easily.

Adam Coombs

This actually defies belief! Advert Consent hasn’t even been
granted for the banner yet. The petition is a good idea but if you also want to
object to the advert application, which would be a more productive way to voice
your opposition, please follow this link and click where it says “Comment on
Application”. Comments need to be submitted before the 29th May.



Council advertisements...what is the point in the first place unless its to tell you something useful?

There are 50 blokes on Brick Lane who will practically demand you get a curry, don't need a sign.


Bloody Labour councils

Andy Brice

There's surely plenty of room on that wall for a banner which doesn't obscure, or even incorporates the mural?