Is this the country’s most pretentious graffiti?

The graffiti at the back of Cheltenham Mount.

The graffiti at the back of Cheltenham Mount.

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Has Harrogate got its very own Banksy or are there just some very pretentious vandals around these days?

That’s the question buzzing round social media in the town after a new piece of graffiti appeared mysteriously at the back of Cheltenham Mount last week.

It’s not that far from the spot where a Banksy-like piece of ‘street art’ was discovered on a wall just over a year ago.

The latest may lack the artistic skills of that controversial drawing but whoever does it apparently does know his or her’s art history.

Scrawled crudely in big black letters are the words “The game of life goes on in a formless empty space until the participants become weary of it or die.”

The phrase itself isn’t original, in fact, it was coined nearly a century ago by members of Dada, the famous avant-garde art movement set up in Zurich during the First World 
War.

It’s background is unlikely to impress everyone and it certainly hasn’t gone down well with the police who are taking a firm line on the work of this slightly shaky hand.

Having posted nine pictures of the graffiti on their Facebook page last week, North Yorkshire Police are now appealing for information from anyone who may know anything about the graffiti.

The post has attracted a number of comments, some commending it for being ‘quite artistic’, others criticising its ugly appearance.

A police spokesperson said: “This graffiti is very unsightly and unpleasant for residents and people who work in the area to look at.

“It’s also costly and time consuming to have it removed. We are appealing for anyone who knows who is responsible for this mindless damage to contact us.”

Harrogate Borough Council have now dealt with the repeated graffiti but the head of Safer Communities, Nikki Garside, explained the difficulty dealing with separate instances in the town.

She said: “We do get issues of graffiti in Harrogate but we don’t have a huge problem, in fact, some of it that gets put up is actually quite artistic.

“If the graffiti is on a council owned building then we will seek to get it removed but in other cases it is up to the private building owner to do something about it, unless it is particularly offensive.

“However, one person’s graffiti is another persons art so when it falls outside of these categories it can be 
difficult.”

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