Belfast scheme offers £25,000 in grants to replace paramilitary murals

A mural of footballer George Best at Inverwood Court was replaced in 2013 by a painting of a UVF gunman. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
John Monaghan

GRANTS totalling £25,000 are being made available for community groups wishing to replace paramilitary murals.

The scheme, run by Belfast City Council, is open to groups "seeking to remove, replace or transform an existing mural that is perceived as aggressive in content".

There have been problems in recent years with several paintings to replace paramilitary murals themselves being painted over.

In 2013 a mural of George Best in east Belfast, created as part of a similar re-imaging project, was painted over by one depicting a UVF gunman.

Belfast City Council had provided £1,500 in European funding for the Best mural in 2010 at Inverwood Court close to Sydenham.

Loyalist murals across east Belfast were replaced with historical images from the Harland and Wolff shipyard, the Titanic, scenes from the Battle of the Somme and a mural of the lion Aslan from CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.

The council has said the latest round of grants will be aimed at artwork which links to "a significant centenary event, topic or other subject of relevance to the local community".

Application forms for the grants are available from the Belfast City Council website and the closing date for submissions is Friday September 30.

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