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‘Breaking the graffiti artist’s code’ - West Hampstead Billy Fury mural victim of tagger

The mural of Billy Fury was the victim of amateur taggers. Picture: Keith Moffitt The mural of Billy Fury was the victim of amateur taggers. Picture: Keith Moffitt

Friday, March 28, 2014
6:00 PM

Graffiti artists behind the Billy Fury mural in West Hampstead have pleaded with fellow spray can enthusiasts to “respect the artists’ code” after it fell victim to taggers.

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Billy Fury Way, running between West End Lane and Lithos Road, was given a grand opening in 2011 as Camden Council and police were keen to help reduce criminal activity and transform the former fly-tipping hotspot.

Named after the English rock and roll star who recorded songs in nearby Decca Studios, the alleyway has become something of a tourist attraction for diehard fans. The group responsible for the mural, Graffiti Life, said they hoped they could encourage the taggers responsible “to be more positive” with their spraying.

“Graffiti has always been a rebellious artform but I would encourage those responsible for the tagging to look at what’s possible,” said David Speed, 31, who was one of two artists who helped create the Billy Fury mural.

“During the 90s there was an unwritten code of no tagging on places of worship or private property and don’t disrespect another’s work. If you really love graffiti, do something positive with it. This kind of stuff has no artistic merit.”

Cllr Keith Moffitt, representative for West Hampstead, said: “Everyone thought there would be some respect for the mural as it’s so well-liked. It’s a real shame it’s happened and it’s disappointing that someone would do this.”

The artwork was restored to its former glory over the weekend by council workers.

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