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Piece of Britain’s tallest mural salvaged by locals sells for £194k

Proceeds from the 9ft section of the mural, which was painted to protest against the destruction of social housing, will go to charity

The only remaining part of Britain’s tallest mural was sold at auction today for a massive £193,750 in aid of a local arts charity after residents rescued a section following its demolition.

The piece by artist and friend of The Big Issue Stik, depicting a mother and her child, was painted on the side of West London social housing tower block Charles Hocking House in 2014. Dubbed Big Mother, it was 38.2m (125ft) and visible to planes leaving Heathrow Airport.

It was intended as a symbol of protest against the destruction of social housing – however the building was demolished earlier this year.

The artist said: “Big Mother represents vulnerable families and the need for public housing. The destruction of the public housing block it was painted on only adds to its meaning.”

Artification, which runs a free arts programme for council residents, fought to salvage the 280cm (9ft) spray-painted brick section of the mural which had been painted at the base of the wall.

They successfully rescued the section and with the support of Stik, had it stabilised and placed in auction. It has been on display as part of New Now at the Phillips auction house before going under the hammer.

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Farzana, a former resident of Charles Hocking House added: “I’m a single mum and I used to live on the ninth floor of the building made famous by the Big Mother mural. We really felt the artwork was for us and it made it a pleasure to come home each day.

“After they ripped it down they rehoused me and my 10-year-old son in another estate nearby and they are regenerating this estate too. We know what means.”

Stik, an internationally renowned street artist, will only back up the sale of his pieces when it is to benefit the local community. Another of his works, Up on the Roof, sold for £150,000 earlier this year. The money went to theatre company Cardboard Citizens, which works exclusively with people affected by homelessness.

ARTification director Rachel Pepper said: “It has been an amazing adventure knowing and working with Stik as he imagined, created and shared the message of Big Mother. We are honoured to now benefit from the charity auction of Little Big Mother.

“The proceeds will enable ARTification to deepen and extend our work celebrating art, culture and community.”

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