Essex

Frank Bruno weighs in to Essex's Drunken Dragon mural row

The Drunken Dragon mural
Image caption Frank Bruno said the mural was "breathing new life" into the pub

Former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno has weighed in to a row over a pub's dragon mural.

Bruno has backed the painting of the large red firebreather on the side of the former Brewer's Arms in Bicknacre, in Essex.

Villagers complained about the image and Chelmsford City Council has asked the owners of now named Drunken Dragon to remove it under advertising rules.

But pub owner David Davies said the mural was art.

The work depicts the bleary-eyed fire breather leaning on a bar.

Image caption The council has said the mural is advertising

The business is undergoing renovations before reopening as the Drunken Dragon under the stewardship of Mr Davies and his son Ben.

Bruno knows the pair and is lined up to appear at an event to mark the opening of the pub and restaurant.

Mr Davies said there had been a mixed response from the public with some people supportive of the image while "keyboard warriors" had been rude about it.

He said: "When Picasso first did his paintings people hated them. Matisse did not like them at all.

"Now they are worth millions. Art is in the eye of the beholder."

Image caption Boxer Frank Bruno has backed the dragon mural

He urged the council to think again about considering the mural advertising.

A Chelmsford City Council spokeswoman said: "The council has received a large number of complaints from local people regarding the 'drunken dragon' mural in Bicknacre.

"Under the Town & Country Planning Act it is considered an advertisement and in response to these complaints, our officers have written to the pub owners to ask them to remove it."

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