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