Worthing council scrubs off RSPCA mural – so artist uses it as inspiration for the replacement

An RSPCA charity shop commissioned a mural to bring a smile to people’s faces – but the council took it down following one complaint.

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 2:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th December 2020, 2:34 pm

Undeterred, the artist responsible used the incident as inspiration for its replacement.

Horace, dubbed Worthing’s answer to Banksy, said he was happy with how the replacement turned out.

Worthing Borough Council’s decision to remove the mural, called the ‘Evolution of Dog’, from outside the charity shop in Montague Street, Worthing, sparked outrage among residents. It was finished for less than 24 hours.

The new mural on the side of the RSPCA charity shop in Montague Street, Worthing, by Horace

Horace, who gifted both murals to the charity, said: “It is quite impressive [the council] cleaned it off the next day, because I have seen mattresses and rubbish down alleyways that have been there longer than that.”

He believed the complaint was because the mural may have seemed sexist before it was completed. He said there was a gap of a few hours between adding the chihuahua in the handbag to the owner’s arm, making it appear the final evolution of dog was in fact a woman.

Regarding his thoughts on the complaint, he said: “I don’t think it really matters. If one person complains about something, it doesn’t warrant removing it.

“It is the council’s job, its responsibility, to check first what it is all about.

The original mural on the side of the RSPCA charity shop in Montague Street, Worthing, by Horace

“One person complaining isn’t enough. And even then, if it isn’t their wall, they can’t just do what they like. They need to check with the building owner.”

Jenny Eden, fundraising manager for the branch, said: “We love it. We think it tells the story of what happened really nicely.

“We didn’t know it was coming, so it was a nice surprise.

“I have already been in touch with the council to make sure it doesn’t get cleaned off again this time.”

Horace said he wanted a full public apology from the council.

When approached about this, a spokesman for Worthing Borough Council said: “We are in ongoing and positive dialogue with the artist and the RSPCA.”

To help rescue teams reach the thousands of animals in need, visit rspca.org.uk/xmas for find out more about the Christmas Rescue campaign.