Benyon Estate dumps famous Christiaan Nagel street art mushroom after it was ‘irreparably damaged’
- Credit: Joshua Thurston
Workers “irreperably damaged” and binned a feted plastic street art mushroom in Southgate Road while repairing a block.
Their employer the Benyon Estate, owned by brothers Edward Benyon and his brother Richard, the MP, claims the sculpture made by artist Christiaan Nagel "wasn't fit for use elsewhere".
Nagel's oversized mushrooms can be seen high up on buildings dotted around London, and have also been placed in New York, Barcelona, Berlin, Cape Town and Los Angeles.
The one in question was on a two-storey building in Southgate Road, De Beauvoir. Neighbour Rory Newson saw it had been damaged by scaffolding during renovations, and approached the Benyon Estate to see if he could save it.
The estate agreed to let him have it so the public art could remain a fixture on the street.
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Rory, 32, told the Gazette: "I asked for the artwork so I could either get them to put it back after the construction, contact the artist so they could relocate it, or put it up somewhere myself. A couple of weeks later they told me that while taking the sculpture down it had been damaged beyond repair."
He believes it "would have been very easy to remove and could have very easily been kept intact".
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Rory continued: "As London is expanding, places seem to be becoming more and more generic. Unique aspects of the city such as street art need to be conserved. The mushroom sculpture was a prominent piece of street art that everyone who knows Southgate Road recognised."
A spokesperson for the Benyon Estate said the mushroom had been installed by a previous commercial tenant.
"Although permission had never been given for the installation, we were happy for it to remain," they said.
"Unfortunately, during these essential repairs to the neighbouring building in recent weeks, the polyurethane mushroom was accidently knocked by a contractor, causing irreparable damage, meaning it was not fit for use elsewhere. While we are disappointed that the mushroom couldn't be saved, our rolling programme of investment in De Beauvoir Town - in residential, commercial and community projects - ensures that this area continues to be one of London's most inspiring and distinctive places."