Friday 8 November 2013

CADW’s CRITERIA by Gethin Gruffydd


Recent report in Western Mail stated that the Website Wales Eye had quoted a number of experts who, to sum up stated the destruction of the Newport Chartist Mural was unnecessary and that many of their reasons given for doing so were mistaken to say the least and questionable conniving of Newport Council with the Developers out to make a load of money. Whatever, all this is well trodden ground in condemning the aforementioned rogues but it is the Cadw involvement I find most questionable as their failure to list the mural which paved the way for the murals destruction.

 In so many words Cadw’s criteria condemned the mural of much artistic merit to being made a pile of rubble, justified by council quoting cost to remove as are old Chapels, stone by stone to St Fagans – Welsh History Museum by CADW. On top of this the Council then stated the wall was unsafe anyway and not fixed and thus a danger and perhaps an 'Accident waiting to happen' as is that famous wall on way to Aberystwyth with the 'iconic' slogan COFIA DRYWERYN there upon. Perhaps that is a serious accident waiting to happen being a wall, end of a cottage I believe? that is not shored up and not made safe butting on to a once Milk Churn collection stand, all part of a large side of road Car Park space often used by families with children picnicking and playing there and walls do collapse and kill kids but no matter that is not an argument for pulling this crumbling wall down with it's 'iconic' Nationalist Slogan.

 Interesting is it not that this 'sloganised wall' has the local Community Council, Ceredigion Council and WAG plus CADW all out to 'save for the nation', asking price was £80:000 of which CADW found the criteria to make it possible for them to consider donation of £30:000, wonder full and I wonder why? Maybe it was because one time 'Crachach Newydd' Arts Guru and 'Head Honcho' Meic Stephens of Arts Council of Wales painted this slogan as a young radical Cultural Nationalist student at Aberystwyth University . Was the criteria here just a matter of convenient opportunity to 'brown nose' Cultural Nationalism and make certain political nationalists all the more prepared to be post Devolution Dupes of WAG Tan 8 Terrorists down in Bae Caerdydd? The lesson perhaps is never mind being creatively artistic just get out there and paint a load of slogans on the walls of Wales, as it so happens I know of a good Anti - Investiture Slogan painted by a Nationalist back in the day, could criteria be found to donate the money to save this for the Nation to save painting another for the next Investiture on line.

Otherwise, if some authority had decreed the Cofia Dryweryn wall had to come down and the rubble cleared away might there not been a 'Nationalist Up Rising' and perhaps Car Park occupation long before such occurred, I believe so. Perhaps those protesting at destruction of the Chartist Mural were too timid and playing far too safe in attempting to save the mural, maybe this was an issue, time and occasion for less of the later Chartist Reformism post 1839 and more of the previous Tarw Scotch Radicalism prior to 1839.

Gethin Gruffydd

1 comment:

  1. Please note that the image you have used is taken from a private commission, created by Newport-born artist Jon Langford using a photograph depicting a panel of Kenneth Budd's original Newport Chartist mosaic. The credit should read: Image by Jon Langford and Kenneth Budd. Thank you!