Leeds City Council row over art gallery signs

ROW: An art exhibition sign.
ROW: An art exhibition sign.
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Internal council wrangles could mislead visitors wanting to see a major Leeds art exhibition.

Highways bosses are at loggerheads with one of the city’s oldest arts organisations and other council departments in a row over street signs put up to advertise the exhibition.

The signs were put in place on the Headrow in Leeds city centre last month to direct people towards Leeds Art Fund’s centenary exhibition at the council’s Art Gallery.

But officials in another council department, Highways, spotted the signs and did not like what they saw.

Today there is an embarrassing cross-department inquiry into whether they had been mounted with permission.

The YEP understands officers raised concerns that the brown signs might confuse city centre drivers, making them think they were being directed along The Headrow to the Art Gallery. Only buses and taxis are allowed on this part of the road system.

After the expense of erecting them, officials have ruled the signs must come down.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council told the YEP: “We have strict policies in place regarding advertising on the highway, which these signs do not adhere to.”

Leeds Art Fund is one of the oldest arts organisations for the visual arts in the country and is celebrating its centenary with the exhibition.

It is understood their officials believed they had the correct permission for the signs.

Founded in 1912, the organisation has helped to acquire collections at Leeds’s museums and galleries, attracting more than 430 works by famous artists.

The centenary exhibition, entitled Art in Our Time is at Leeds Art Gallery until November and brings together paintings and sculpture acquired by the LAF during its time working with Leeds Art Gallery.

The LAF has also put together a series of events to accompany the celebration. To book or find out more, contact the Art Gallery on 0113 2478256.

Councillors Pat and Graham Latty.

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