Controversy over JFK Memorial
In March I wrote about Birmingham’s JFK memorial mosaic, which is currently being restored to be placed its new home in Digbeth. However, since the spring, there have been a few twists and turns in the story…
Firstly, the artwork was due to be installed in June, but the new date for this is Thursday the 22nd November. Those of you who walk around Digbeth regularly will have noticed that the billboard that usually occupies the location on the corner of Floodgate Street and Digbeth High Street has been removed recently.
The Birmingham Mail reported in July that President Obama could be invited to unveil the mosaic; although DRA is keen for Digbeth to be seen as an area of (inter)national importance, this did seem a little too blue sky for the city. (Don’t pardon the pun, it’s intentional!)
Things came to a head last week when it was announced that the city’s first Irish Lord Mayor, Mike Nangle, was to be added into the restored artwork, with a heated debate taking place in the Irish Centre. However, since then, Digbeth-based charity and support service Irish in Birmingham, has gone on record to say that they see no problem with honouring Mike Nangle‘s career as part of the renovation of the mural.
The latest news now is that the decision to re-install the mural has been postponed until further consultation with the community. Let’s just hope that we’ll see this highly-regarded piece of art move to its new home in Digbeth soon.