Van­dal ‘tags’ bee mu­ral ded­i­cated to Arena vic­tims


Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By ALICE WRAGG @MENnews­desk

A CAL­LOUS van­dal has de­faced a huge North­ern Quar­ter mu­ral ded­i­cated to the 22 peo­ple killed in the Manch­ester Arena bomb­ing.

In the wake of the atroc­ity, trib­utes to those mur­dered popped up across the city – and be­yond.

The worker bee be­came a sym­bol of unity and strength, with thou­sands of peo­ple got it tat­tooed on their bod­ies.

The M.E.N. com­mis­sioned a mas­sive mu­ral on the side of The Kof­fee Pot on Old­ham Street in the North­ern Quar­ter weeks later.

Each bee, pic­tured swarm­ing around a honey heart, rep­re­sents one of the in­no­cent peo­ple killed in the hor­rific at­tack. It was com­pleted over a week­end in June last year by graf­fiti artist Rus­sell Mee­han, also know as ‘Qubek.’

Two days af­ter the at­tack – on May 22, 2017 – Russ painted the old toi­let block in Steven­son Square with bees and two hands joined to­gether in a heart.

That prompted the M.E.N. to com­mis­sion him to cre­ate the mu­ral.

Work­ing from atop a cherry picker, armed with dozens of cans of spray paint, Russ spent two days cre­at­ing his mas­ter­piece.

Cafe bosses pre­vi­ously turned down all re­quests for it to be used for a mu­ral, but kindly agreed to let Russ work his magic.

The mu­ral has now been tar­geted by a van­dal, who has ‘tagged’ the wall. It is un­clear when the wall was de­faced. Manch­ester coun­cil’s city cen­tre spokesman Pat Kar­ney said: “I hope the peo­ple who have done this re­alise the dis­re­spect they are show­ing to the tragedy that took 22 lives.

“I hope that they clear it up – or do some­thing about it once they see the up­set it causes all those who have been af­fected by the Manch­ester Arena at­tack.”

The bee was adopted as a mo­tif for Manch­ester dur­ing the in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion.

Seven are in­cluded in the crest of the city’s arms, which were granted to the Bor­ough of Manch­ester in 1842.

At the time, it rep­re­sented the hard work of Man­cu­ni­ans and the tex­tile mills that were com­monly de­scribed as ‘hives of ac­tiv­ity.’

But fol­low­ing the Arena at­tack, it has come to mean so much more.

Graf­fiti on the Manch­ester Bee Mu­ral on the side of the Kof­fee Pot on Old­ham Street

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