Talks about the future of a Palestinian artwork removed from Tynemouth Metro station last year are on hold despite more than 400 people calling for it to be reinstated.

The graffiti-style artwork was created by visiting Palestinian child refugees and had been on display since 2012 until it was removed last October. The removal of the mural came amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understood at the time that the mural had been removed and placed into storage by North Tyneside Council as a safety precaution following a credible threat to deface it. The Northern Echo: Shatila Art at Tynemouth Metro Station Shatila Art at Tynemouth Metro Station (Image: ANDREW CURTIS) Picture: Andrew Curtis/Creative Commons Licence.

A North Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “The conflict in the Middle East remains an incredibly sensitive issue and our thoughts are with anyone whose lives have been devastated because of the conflict.

“North Tyneside Council’s priority remains to listen to and support residents in our Borough who have been affected by the conflict. We continue to do this through our Ethnic Diversity Community Taskforce and our voluntary and community sector.The Northern Echo: The mural has been removed from Tynemouth station by North Tyneside Council The mural has been removed from Tynemouth station by North Tyneside Council (Image: LDR)

There are many voices in our borough and as a council that is proud to represent all of our residents, it is important that we listen to them all.

“When there is an appropriate moment to explore the reinstatement of the artwork, we will start further conversations with impacted communities to make an informed decision about the mural’s future.”

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A petition calling for the piece to be returned to the public has, at the time of writing, amassed 426 signatures, on the petitioning site 38Degrees.

The petition has been live since Tuesday this week. 

The petition reads: “We urge North Tyneside council and all other authorities responsible for the removal of the friendship mural, at the earliest possible time, to reinstate this important piece of artwork at Tynemouth Metro Station or at the very least seek an alternative secure public place to put it back on display in the community.”