Brighton unveils 'rainbow road crossing' for Pride month

image copyrightSyd Shelton
image captionPolice have warned visitors not to treat the artwork as an official pedestrian crossing

A "rainbow road crossing" has been unveiled in Brighton as part of the celebrations to mark LGBT Pride month.

The artwork, which stretches across the road at the artists' quarter of Madeira Drive, was painted over two days.

Similar crossings have previously appeared in cities around the world including Los Angeles, Sydney and Tel Aviv but this is thought to be the first in Europe.

The crossing was opened by Brighton artist and musician Heather Peace.

She called the artwork "a gift from me to anyone that embraces diversity".

Brighton MP Caroline Lucas said the rainbow crossing was "a great tribute to that spirit of diversity and inclusiveness embraced by our city".

image copyrightAndy Roach
image captionLocal artists created the rainbow crossing over two days
image captionThe crossing stretches across the road at the artists' quarter of Madeira Drive
image copyrightSyd Shelton
image captionDespite being supported by the local council, it will have to be removed in a week

Although hundreds of tourists are expected to visit the artwork, police have warned it should not be considered an official road crossing.

Unlike official crossings, pedestrians will not have any priority over vehicles when walking on the artwork.

Traffic regulations also mean the artwork will have to be removed after a week.

The first official rainbow crossing was painted in West Hollywood by artist Martin Duvander in 2012.

Unofficial crossings have also appeared in places like Moscow, Paris, Shanghai and Cambodia as symbols of solidarity with LGBT people.

The Sussex city's LGBT celebrations will culminate at Brighton Pride 2014 on 2 August.

Organisers have announced that X-Factor winner Sam Bailey will perform at the festival.

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