The surprising mosaics of Birmingham.

Each time I stumble across this mosaic in Birmingham city centre I’m a) reminded that I’ve already seen it b) confused as to why I’ve forgotten about it and c) notice that it is disintegrating rapidly.  There are several of them in the city centre – they were usually in the many subterranean walkways under the ringroad; sometimes redevelopment of those walkways has meant the mosaics have been relocated, most notably the JFK memorial and the Great Western Railway mosaic.

The Horsefair mosaic is no doubt waiting its turn for some redevelopment scheme to pay for its repair and relocation.  No doubt they represent a problem – they remove too much active frontage at street level – no shop windows, no office doors, no advertising space – and putting them above street level brings additional problems.  At least they’re still here – I remember the murals on the walkways around the Bull Ring which only survive in photographs now.

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