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Landmark children’s Spitalfields mosaic rescued from a skip is restored and back on public display

PUBLISHED: 16:10 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:34 19 March 2018

Children's Spitalfields mosaic from 1995 is finally restored. Picture: Rehan Jamil

Children's Spitalfields mosaic from 1995 is finally restored. Picture: Rehan Jamil

© Rehan Jamil

A landmark street mosaic made by schoolchildren in Spitalfields 23 years ago that fell into disrepair over the years and ended up in a rubble skip has been brought back to life.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets cuts ribbon to unveil restored mosaic now in Bethnal Green's Ravenscroft Park. Picture: Rehan JamilMayor of Tower Hamlets cuts ribbon to unveil restored mosaic now in Bethnal Green's Ravenscroft Park. Picture: Rehan Jamil

The artwork originally laid out on the historic site of the old Spitalfields Hospital in Spital Square, near Liverpool Street Station, was produced in 1995 by 120 pupils from Thomas Buxton and St Anne’s primary schools.

It attracted media attention in its day and was even filmed for the BBC’s Blue Peter programme.

The 12ft-long sections of concrete were filled with designs reflecting Spitalfields life through the ages—Huguenot spinning wheels and sewing machines, Jewish menorah candlesticks and mehndi Asian body art, as well as churches, synagogues and mosques.

The original Spitalfields mosaic from 1995 now restured after years of damage and disrepair. Picture: Rehan JamilThe original Spitalfields mosaic from 1995 now restured after years of damage and disrepair. Picture: Rehan Jamil

But it was dug up when Spital Square was being redeveloped a decade later and ended up on a skip before being rescued, then stored in a lock-up in Brick Lane for several years.

It has now been repaired and placed in Ravenscroft Park behind Bethnal Green’s Columbia Road Market and formally unveiled by Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs.

“This much loved mosaic means a lot to people,” he said. “It’s great that the mosaic has been restored and put on public display again.”

Original site of Spitalfields schoolchildren's mosaic in Spital Square, 1995. Picture source: LBTHOriginal site of Spitalfields schoolchildren's mosaic in Spital Square, 1995. Picture source: LBTH

The mosaic was moved to Ravenscroft Park in December and carefully laid out for repairs to the damage caused over the years.

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