Sheffield’s graffiti hypocrisy rankles

Graffiti Tag in Sheffield city centre
Graffiti Tag in Sheffield city centre
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As a regular reader of the Star I’m always surprised when the local luminaries and professional commenters trot out the same condemnation of graffiti in Sheffield’s centre and inner suburbs.

There seems to be a lot of people who want it “stopped” but know nothing of when, how or why it has occurred in the last few years. Maybe they have forgotten the councils and developers sudden interest in the trendy street art that was once an underground interest. There is a moral issue here. Why is it ok if the council or a developer says it is and it’s not if it hasn’t been ‘sanitised’? Either it’s ok to paint on walls or it’s not. The genie is out of the bag. You’re saying one bunch of guys can paint up a wall in broad daylight, yet the original art form is unacceptable. Really? Well it’s clear as mud that isn’t it. It mightIf anybody is surprised since the sanctioned wall art began to appear - tagging has started again - then you better understand not everybody plans their contribution to this cultural awakening like Banksy.

A cursory look at much of the tagging will tell you it’s the work of a few individuals from a suburb of Sheffield that’s very economically deprived. If anybody bothered to read the tags. Tags by their very nature are added to other tags. Why is it then, many premium developments charging exorbitant service charges fail to remove it immediately?

More graffiti is then added and the end result is a city centre that looks like the Bronx in 1980. If you want to brighten up the city centre don’t try to do it on the cheap by proxy. Immediate removal would be the best way to keep the city clean. And a total street art ban would be the way to send a statement. Just because its trendy doesn’t mean it’s right for Sheffield’s walls.

Tony Abdy

S11