Glasgow’s iconic mural of Sir Billy Connolly faces demolition

A mural of Sir Billy Connolly, one of Glasgow’s most beloved figures, is set to be covered up by a new student housing development. The artwork, which depicts the comedian in his trademark banana boots, was created by street artist Rogue One in 2017 as part of a tribute to Connolly’s 75th birthday.

The mural’s location and significance

The mural is located on the gable end of a building on Osborne Street, near the St Enoch Centre. It is one of three murals commissioned by BBC Scotland and Glasgow City Council to celebrate Connolly’s life and career. The other two murals, by artists Jack Vettriano and Rachel Maclean, are situated on Dixon Street and Gallowgate respectively.

The mural has become a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, who often stop to take photos and admire the colourful portrait of the Big Yin. Connolly himself has expressed his appreciation for the mural, saying that it was “a bit scary” but “a great honour” to see himself on such a large scale.

The proposed development and its impact

However, the mural’s future is now in jeopardy, as a planning application has been submitted by Osborne Street Developments Ltd to build a 12-storey student accommodation block on the site. The development would consist of 185 flats, a gym, a cinema room, a laundry, a lounge and a courtyard. The application states that the mural would be “obscured” by the new building, and that there are no plans to relocate or reproduce it elsewhere.

Glasgow’s iconic mural of Sir Billy Connolly faces demolition

The proposal has sparked outrage among many Glaswegians, who have launched a petition to save the mural. The petition, which has gathered over 15,000 signatures, calls on the developers and the council to reconsider the project and preserve the artwork. The petition argues that the mural is “a symbol of Glasgow’s culture and humour” and that it “brings joy to thousands of people every day”.

The response from the authorities and the artist

The planning application is currently under consideration by Glasgow City Council, which has received hundreds of objections from the public. A spokesperson for the council said that they would take into account the views of all parties involved, and that the final decision would be made by the planning committee.

The artist behind the mural, Rogue One, said that he was saddened by the news, but that he understood the need for development in the city. He said that he hoped that the mural could be saved or replicated somewhere else, and that he was proud of his work and the response it had received. He also thanked Sir Billy Connolly for being an inspiration to him and many others.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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