Elgar 'Banksy' sparks controversy

Four graffitied images of the British composer have appeared in Malvern as an 'anonymous gift' to the community - but the artists have apologised for not seeking permission for the paintings.

Elgar Banksy in Malvern

As well as the prominent statues of Sir Edward Elgar in Worcester High Street, Malvern Church Street, and near Hereford Cathedral, the area now plays host to three coloured portraits at a bus shelter, and a striking full-length image of the composer, who is nonchalantly checking his bright green smartphone next to a traditional red British telephone box.

Like the famous Bristol-based artist, Banksy, the identity of the artists remained a secret until they were caught by the police. Both artists, now known as Lee Morris and Tom Brown, have apologised for not seeking approval before creating the images.

Speaking to the Malvern Gazette, Morris said: "I wanted to do a design that was going to be good for the community - what people would want and what symbolises Malvern. Edward Elgar is just that.

I walk past that bus stop twice a day and I was looking at those three recesses and thought there just needs to be a picture on each of the alcoves. It's a blank canvass."

Morris intends to sell the original paintings, giving the profits back to supporting arts in the community. Malvern residents are now urging the council to allow the artwork to remain.

Photo: Twitter/@allaboutmalvern