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Montrose Mural – Angus Council Orders Removal

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Detention camp mural causes row

A row has broken out over a large mural depicting a Guantanamo Bay prisoner which has appeared on the side of a building in Montrose Angus.

Miki Warren, 18, said she painted the controversial artwork to highlight the plight of suspected terrorists being held at the US camp in Cuba.

Its presence in Montrose has caused residents to complain and some have demanded that it is covered up.

Miss Warren said she was using the work as part of her art portfolio.

She said she had done nothing wrong and was not planning to get rid of the mural, which was painted on the end of a former warehouse owned by her father.

The work features a person dressed in the style of a prisoner at the camp and features the phrases “Disneyland Guantanamo” and “Where the fun never ends.”

Miss Warren said of the painting, which she described as protest art: “It is beyond belief that people are complaining.

“I thought no-one was going to kick up a fuss over a statement about something which is so obviously wrong – that is the point of the painting,” she said.

The teenager, who is applying to Glasgow School of Art, said the mural was inspired by graffiti artist Banksy, who last year placed a life-size replica of a Guantanamo Bay detainee on a ride at Disneyland in California.

Local councillor, Mark Salmond, who said he had received numerous complaints from residents, claimed the painting had caused a furore and suggested it was pained over.

He said: “It is the actual content the artwork is trying to portray that has upset some people – it is a quiet neighbourhood and they are not used to this kind of thing.”

Miss Warren’s father, Stephen, said he was planning to build eco-flats on the site, but did not believe he should cover up his daughter’s work.

It is the actual content the artwork is trying to portray that has upset some people Mark Salmond
local councillor

Angus Council said it was currently considering the issue, while Tayside Police said the painting was not a policing matter. Angus Council later issued an order telling Mr Warren to remove the mural within 28 days.

Two issues here that could cause concern, are Angus Council saying freedom of expression BUT only for 28 days ? Or do the council have a valid concern that the images painted refer quite clearly to the Disney Corporation and they could have no connection to Guantanamo in any way, could they ?

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