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Europe’s tallest artwork boosts Leicester’s reputation as a top UK destination for street art

Europe’s tallest artwork boosts Leicester’s reputation as a top UK destination for street art

Over the last month, visitors and residents in Leicester have witnessed a transformation of one of the city’s most iconic buildings, as a team of five local artists have scaled the 82m high building, turning the wall in to one of the tallest artworks in the world.

The mural adds to a huge array of spectacular street art in Leicester and places it firmly on the map as a destination for street art in the UK.

The artwork, located on St. George’s tower, also colloquially known as the Blue Tower, is located close to the train station. It features visual themes representing various aspects of Leicester’s unique heritage and culture – such as a striking orange fox at the top of the tower, a famous emblem of Leicester City Football Club, and an astronaut, representing the city as the home of the National Space Centre and links to space research. The artwork also features a strand of DNA, alluding to the University of Leicester’s discovery of the technique of DNA fingerprinting and, more recently, for the identification of the bones of Richard III. At the bottom of the mural, viewers can find a colourful tiger, representing the world-famous Leicester Tigers rugby union club.

The project has been funded by Leicester’s Business Improvement District, BID Leicester, and has been developed alongside local arts organisation Graffwerk. The sky-scraping artwork is being painted by a team of Leicester based artists; Wing Lo, Richard Peacock, Leigh Drummond, assisted by Ben Edwards & Kiene Tuckley.

When complete, the mural will stand at an impressive 82 metres tall, almost doubling the current UK record and covering a total of 717.5 square metres, making it Europe’s tallest artwork and one of the tallest murals in the world – surpassed only by paintings in Calgary, Canada and Karachi, Pakistan.

The project follows several initiatives and events that have been supported by BID Leicester to transform the visual landscape, with the aim of creating a more attractive environment within the city centre. Former projects have included a series of colourful murals in pub beer gardens and the making over vacant shop unit windows into artworks created by local artists.

Most recently, the internationally acclaimed Bring The Paint street art festival returned to the city for the third time and saw over forty permanent large-scale works created on walls across the city, adding to other pieces also created in previous years and forming a huge trail of world-class street art for all to enjoy. BID Leicester Director, Simon Jenner, said:

“The artwork being created on St. George’s tower is another example of the BID continuing to do bigger and better things for Leicester city-centre, through proactively delivering initiatives which create a real and lasting change to the landscape.”

“As well as transforming the building, we expect the artwork to give a boost to the visitor economy support tourism by giving people another great reason to visit the city.”

Local arts organization Graffwerk, based at Frog Island arts centre The Mill by GRAFFWERK, work as a dynamic arts enterprise delivering major street art and educational projects which have a huge impact on the visual environment. Graffwerk said:

“We’re really thrilled to be delivering this project after three years of planning and are extremely grateful to BID Leicester for sharing our vision to transform this iconic landmark in the heart of Leicester City Leicester. From the conception of the project, it was always important to us that the artwork was delivered by Leicester artists, and we are proud of the incredibly talented team that are working on this with us.”

The iconic building is home to several businesses, including Premiere Inn, Al Feena Shisha Lounge, PureGym, Hastings Direct, as well as student accommodation.
Find out more about the project at and tag your pictures on social media #LeicesterBlueTower

Picture - copyright Josie Parr

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