'Travesty' as Cardiff 'My City, My Shirt' mural painted over

It comes after the mural was vandalised in an alleged racist incident last year. Credit: Cathy Owen

Residents of a Cardiff suburb have reacted angrily after a mural in the area was painted over as part of a fast-food campaign.

The mural - which features prominently on the side of a house on James Street in Butetown - displays a pregnant woman originally from Africa wearing a Cardiff City shirt, with the subtitle "My City, my shirt." 

The organisation behind the mural say that an agency acting on behalf of fast-food chain McDonald's painted over the artwork and plan to replace it with an advert for the company's new restaurant due to open early next month.

Unify Creative teamed up with Adidas to commission the artwork to tie in with the Euros as well as provoke conversations around diversity and representation.

Yusuf Ismail, the co-founder of Unify Creative, described the plans as "a travesty."

The image is of Maimuna Indjai, who is wearing a Cardiff City shirt to represent her community and celebrate diversity in the capital. Credit: Cathy Owen

Mr Ismail said: "[The art] was based on an original photograph we've taken of a woman who migrated from Africa to Wales, and embraced everything about Wales and the opportunities she's had.

"The photograph is extremely powerful and the artist was so talented in recreating it. So for that to be painted over by what essentially is a sandwich campaign is distressing."It's a travesty but we have to look at the silver lining which is trying to make sure that corporations like McDonald's when they're coming into communities engage in the correct manner."

The mural was seen to be painted over with yellow paint on Saturday. Credit: Cathy Owen

It comes after the mural - originally created in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement - was vandalised in an alleged racist incident last year.

Local resident Cathy Owens, said it was "awful" to watch the mural being painted over, adding that the best way McDonald's can make amends is to support other art projects in the Butetown area, particularly the "James Street gallery" nearby.

"Hopefully McDonald's can respond positively because it's such an amazing mural", she said.

"Perhaps they can talk to the team about how they can help support more opportunities and spaces for young people particularly in Butetown."

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething tweeted that the removal of the mural was "staggeringly insensitive" while Shadow Minister for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Steven Doughty asked McDonald's: "What on earth are you thinking?"

ITV Cymru Wales has approached McDonald's for a comment.

Commenting on Twitter, a post from the company's official account said McDonald's was "unaware of what was on the site prior to our installation."

It added that the company "have instructed the artist to repaint his original mural immediately."

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