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'Very drab': Artworks stripped from abandoned Anglo HQ

Paintings pasted up in a guerrilla exhibition by the Romantic Ireland group have been removed from the derelict site.

The artworks being pinned up earlier this month
The artworks being pinned up earlier this month
Image: Romantic Ireland

PAINTINGS WHICH WERE pasted up on the hoardings of the abandoned Anglo Irish Bank headquarters by a guerrilla group of artists in an attempt to spark debate on Nama have now been removed.

The artworks were pinned two weeks ago on the hoardings of the building in Dublin’s docklands – formerly earmarked to become the new base of now-defunct Anglo – by a group called Romantic Ireland.

Drawing their name from WB Yeats’ poem September 1913, the group said their exhibition was an attempt to kick-start a debate about the role of Nama in Ireland today.

But the paintings were taken down earlier this week. “It was either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” a Romantic Ireland member told TheJournal.ie. He said he believed it was removed by the company managing the property, due to the work’s political content.

I don’t think if it was an exhibition of flowers it would have been taken down. I think it was more because of its political comment. So the act of taking it down is a further comment.

The building is now controlled by Nama, whose chairman said in December that he was confident the building would sell in the near future, RTÉ reported at the time.

The artworks had originally been put up on the basis that it was “making it [the site] beautiful”, the Romantic Ireland member added.

It’s a very drab site that’s owned by the people of Ireland, and the people of Ireland decorated it. Very tastefully I thought. The act of taking it down could be a statement that they’d rather have an empty site there, owned by the people but not representing the people.

It is not clear who removed the artworks. An employee of property management firm WK Nowlan and Associates, which lists Nama as one of its clients, said he had “no knowledge and no comment to make in relation to that” before hanging up the phone.

More: Slideshow of the artworks before they were removed>

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Michael Freeman

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