A charity billboard showing support for Ukraine was covered by an ad for a dating app. On April 1, ‘Together for Ukraine’ appeared on the side of a construction site in Walthamstow, but today (Wednesday April 13) the street art was covered by an advertisement for Bumble.
Designed by renowned street artist Maser, the interactive billboard was over 80 meters long and was created to allow the public to donate to Ukraine by simply pointing their smartphone at the artwork. Those who scan the artwork are then redirected to a page where they can purchase a limited edition Maser or donate directly to the charity “Play Your Part for Ukraine”.
Maser said: “The situation in Ukraine has given everyone pause to reflect – Together for Ukraine is a work of art that I hope will contribute to the relief effort to help the country of Ukraine in its continuous struggle for freedom.” The billboard, which appeared on Walthamstow’s former concert venue, The Standard, has since been removed and replaced by the Bumble advertisement.
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Wood Street Walls, a London-based organization that works to empower local communities and artists to organize walls, called the decision “a tone deaf”. Mark Clack, co-founder of Wood Street Walls, told MyLondon: “We were in the final stages of the project, the black band at the bottom of the piece was to have QR codes printed this week.”
He added that the damage cannot be repaired, saying: “I don’t think we have any chance of recovering the original, it looks like it was ripped out of the wall. It’s dull, it looks like that the message they’re sending is that dating is more important than people’s lives.”
Blackhorse Road’s iconic music venue, Walthamstow – which has hosted an eclectic range of artists from Suzi Quatro to Kula Shaker, Harry Enfield and Jack Dee – will be redeveloped into accommodation later this year. Mark Clack shared that the site’s new owners were equally confused by the announcement, saying: “We have no answers at this time, the owner of the building does not know who consented to the billboard is used for advertising purposes, so we can only assume it is an outside agency.”
MyLondon has contacted Bumble for comment.
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