The fate of graffiti by Worthing's Banksy has been decided: celebrities react

Kenny Tutt with his mural, which was under threat. Picture: Horace
Kenny Tutt with his mural, which was under threat. Picture: Horace

The fate of popular graffiti by Worthing's answer to Banksy has been decided.

At a meeting of Worthing Borough Council's planning committee last night, councillors decided to save two murals by the artist Horace on listed buildings in the town which needed planning permission, citing the revenue they brought in through tourism.

This went against the recommendation of council officers, who said they should be removed. In a report to the committee, they said they were ' concerned about setting a precedent and encouraging such graffiti on our best heritage assets in the town'.

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The murals in question depicted Masterchef winner Kenny Tutt outside 28 Warwick Street, Worthing, and CBBC presenter Dave Benson Phillips on the New Amsterdam pub in High Street, Worthing.

Kenny, whose first restaurant launched a few doors down from his mural, said it was 'brilliant news' that the graffiti had been saved. He said: "It was a really lovely surprise that someone had put me with these phenomenal people. Being up there with Oscar Wilde is pretty insane."

He said 'there were better uses of time and resources' than trying to get street art removed, and added that it was 'not anti-social graffiti'. He said: "When you're in a city or town, stuff like culture and art are the things that should be embraced."

Dave Benson Phillips said he was 'absolutely delighted' his mural was safe, and was 'blown away' by the artwork when he first visited it.

He said: "It is such a fantastic thing to do for the town. I know people have their opinions, but good street art should be appreciated by everybody and seen by everybody.

"I'm hoping for more of these murals by Horace. I don't know who he is, but whoever he is, wherever he is: thank you very much."

There are nine other murals around Worthing, immortalising Worthing's most famous sons and daughters including Billy Idol on The Egremont pub in Brighton Road, Oscar Wilde, and Game of Thrones and Star Wars actress Gwendoline Christie.

As these are not on listed buildings, the council would have no power to remove them.

A council report said that the owners of these buildings had all given their permission for the artwork to be there.