Bracknell mural decision leaves sculptor 'dismayed'

Bronze relief in Bracknell's Charles Square Image copyright William Mitchell
Image caption The mural, installed in Charles Square, was commissioned by the Bracknell Development Corporation in the 1960s

The sculptor of a 1960s mural depicting the history of Bracknell says he is dismayed after learning it would not be re-installed in the town.

Developers say the bronze-faced mural by William Mitchell is "too big" for a shopping area under construction.

The 30-metre (98ft) sculpture was originally installed in the Crossway precinct, which was demolished in 2013.

Bracknell Regeneration Partnership said it was working to find the mural a suitable home.

The partnership previously said the panels, made of bronze-faced glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), would be reinstated in an "accessible and sensible location" at the development.

Image copyright William Mitchell
Image caption Mr Mitchell was one of the most prolific artists of the 1960s and 70s

Mr Mitchell said: "Whatever the merits of the mural as a work of art... it should be kept purely on the basis that it has historical significance.

"I am concerned... the mural is on its way to being forgotten and that it will never be seen again."

Twentieth Century Society director Catherine Croft, who described Mr Mitchell as the "most highly regarded mural artist of the period", said it would be "scandalous if it could not be found a suitable, prominent new location".

Development manager Simon Russian, said: "It's not that we don't want it - we can't fit it in.

"We've got about three or four pieces going up on some of the buildings as part of the regeneration but this is such a large piece we just can't put it up, so we're trying to find somewhere to put it at the moment."

During his career, Mr Mitchell created the bronze doors on Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and hundreds more panels for public buildings and spaces, nine of which are listed by English Heritage.

Image copyright Bracknell Forest Society
Image caption The mural depicts Roman history, incursions by Danes, Jutes and Saxons and Bracknell's royal links through the ages

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