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Urgent calls made to save historic Newport murals from ‘falling into street’

17 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Old Green Roundabout Mural in Newport

Urgent calls have been made by campaigners to save a set of historical murals from ‘falling into the street’.

The murals, which were commissioned in the 1970’s to commemorate the Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company, cover the walls of an underpass beneath the Old Green Roundabout in Newport.

The artwork depicts scenes from the city’s past and campaigners say the art is at risk of completely crumbling away unless work is carried out to repair it.

Concerns were raised about the future of the murals, which have been vandalised with graffiti, following news that the area could be torn down to make way for a transport development.

Plans were put in place to revamp the Old Green Roundabout with a traffic light system and possibly move the artwork to a new location.

But eight months later no repairs have been carried out and there are fears that as time passes more of the tiles are being dislodged from the murals.

Newport City Council has been accused of deliberately holding off on any repairs until the outcome of the consultation and planning application for the new proposed project is passed.

The Old Green Murals were commissioned by Newport City Council in 1971 and the site was once a major junction connecting the quayside riverfront wharfs and the railway station.

As such, it was one of the main arteries of trade for the burgeoning port of Newport during the iron era.

The mural has begun to crumble away.


Work on the Old Green Murals was completed in 1975 by prominent renowned London mural artist, Kenneth George Budd.

He was made an Associate of the Royal College of Art in 1950 and was later elected as the Master of the Art Workers’ Guild in 1992.

Mr Budd is the same artist who also completed work on the former Chartist Mural located in the old underpass near John Frost Square in Newport which was demolished in 2013.

Newport Conservative Campaigner, Michael Enea said: “One sizeable mural displaying a florist shop near the former Kings Hotel is literally falling off the wall and into the street.

“A massive chunk of this iconic mural is already missing. With every spell of bad weather and every storm that passes over, more pieces of this fabulous mural are crumbling away. It is heartbreaking to see.

“Over eight months have passed since this was first highlighted and still no work has been undertaken to repair the damaged mural.

“Can this be repaired? It would require a specialist to complete such painstaking work. Have the council even bothered to make enquiries with any specialist mural artists in terms of ascertaining quotes relating to repairs?

“Have attempts have been made to removed graffiti visible on two of the murals?”

Nation Cymru contacted Newport City Council for comment but received no response.

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