Two Pieces Of Good News
Alfred the Great repairing the walls of the City of London by Sir Frank Salisbury, 1912
Thanks to the large number of letters of objection – many written by readers of Spitalfields Life – the development scheme which threatened to obscure and inflict permanent damage on the murals at the Royal Exchange in the City of London has been withdrawn.
We understand the scale of objection was such that the City’s Planning Officer made a site visit to inspect the murals and recognised the concerns were legitimate. He informed the developer that he would recommend the scheme for refusal which – in turn – led to the developer withdrawing the scheme. Although they will likely come back with a revised scheme, the developer must now recognise that it needs to be one which treats London’s most important series of murals sympathetically.
For the meantime, this remarkable cycle of paintings including works by Stanhope Forbes, Lord Leighton and Lucy Kemp Welch is safe. As Arnold Bennett wrote when he saw them, ‘You have to pinch yourself in order to be sure that you have not fallen into a tranced vision.’
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