Leicester

Leicester City champions mural: Shop staff threatened over removal

Mural being painted out
Image caption Shop staff said they were "shocked and surprised" to see the mural go

Threats have been made to staff at a shop where a mural celebrating Leicester City's 2016 Premier League title has been removed.

The painting in Kate Street was one of a series celebrating the club.

The manager of Bargain Buyz, which rents the front of the building, said online and phone messages had warned of be "repercussions".

The mural was removed in a redevelopment by new owners, but there were promises to repaint it elsewhere.

The building's owner Stephen Levy said: "It was always going to come off eventually. We decided in the best interests of the Leicester City supporters we would re-locate this in a more apt setting."

He said not many people looked at it in Kate Street and they have found a spot for it near the Highcross shopping centre, where it will go unless a better place is found.

"The artist [Richard Wilson] can't start until the beginning of August," Mr Levy said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The building's owner said he hoped the work could be repainted elsewhere

Shop manager Mohammed Vindhani said Bargain Buyz opened two weeks ago and problems began when the mural, which is on the back of the building, was painted out on Tuesday.

"The mural was iconic for us, we are heavy Leicester City fans, and we were shocked and surprised to see it disappear," he said.

"There have been a few phone calls, one of our lads had to listen to some bad language, and a few emails, telling us there will be repercussions for the mural being taken away and it's all our fault.

"As fans we understand the disappointment but there is no need for that, especially as it has nothing to do with us."

Mr Vindhani said he had not yet reported the matter to the police as he hoped explaining the situation would "put people straight".

Mr Levy - who ordered the mural to be removed - said he was very sorry a few people had reacted in this way.

He emphasised Bargain Buyz did not know the mural was being relocated.

The Foxes shocked the football world when they won the Premier League at odds of 5,000/1.

Commenting on the BBC East Midlands Facebook page, Lisa Talbott said removing the mural was "sacrilege".

"The property owners should've felt proud to have such a masterpiece on their property," she said.

Mark Sawford said: "It's such a shame to see Leicester's victorious season wiped over in grey paint."

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