Hull fishing mural to be demolished over asbestos risk

The Three Ships in situ Image copyright Mike Bartlett Photography
Image caption The Threes Ships mosaic was created by artist Alan Boyson in 1963

A giant mural depicting Hull's fishing heritage is to be demolished after a survey found it contained "dangerously high levels of asbestos".

The Three Ships mosaic was to be retained as part of a £130m redevelopment of the city centre site.

However, Hull City Council said the mural could not be temporarily removed and then replaced as the work would "pose a risk to public safety".

Campaigner Leigh Bird said she was "devastated at the loss".

Image copyright East Yorkshire Video Camera Club
Image caption The mosaic was installed on the side of a department store in 1963

She lobbied as part of the Ships in the Sky group to have the mural listed. Their application was turned down by English Heritage in 2017.

"Rightly so, the council has their levels of safety they have to conform to, so sadly that's the only option open to them," said Ms Bird.

"We're devastated at the loss of something that's culturally important not just to the to the people of Hull, but in architectural and artistic terms."

The mosaic, by artist Alan Boyson, was created in 1963 as part of a new department store.

It comprises almost a million pieces of Italian glass on a 66ft by 64ft (20m x 19.5m) concrete screen and depicts three stylised trawlers spelling out Hull with their masts.

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Media captionHull's Three Ships mosaic to be demolished after asbestos was discovered.

Daren Hale, deputy leader of the council, said he was "desperately disappointed" at the news.

"As disappointed as we are that we cannot retain the mural, we are more determined than ever that a version of this iconic Alan Boyson design will feature as part of this incredible city centre development," he said.

"We will be working with artists to explore ways in which the Three Ships design can be reproduced, and remain an iconic feature of the city centre."

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