SOME OF THE FINEST ART SEEN on the streets of London has been wiped out by fake news.
Hip-hop Raised Me, a striking collage of rap-star portraits on a wall in the heart of Dalston, has been painted over entirely in white by the taxi firm that operates from the building.
Assad Shah, 47, of Dalston Minicabs, told Loving Dalston: “Some silly girls made a horrible accusation against us.”
The young women summoned Hackney police to the E8 2PG premises with an allegation that one of the firm’s taxi drivers was a paedophile, “but,” said Shah, “the man works in the market (the nearby Ridley Road). He has never worked for us.” The man had been charged in Croydon, South London, several years ago with a sexual offence — but had been acquitted.
Crude graffiti was painted over the artwork, and photographs of the distinctively painted taxi premises were posted on social media. To distance itself from the accusations, the taxi firm felt it had no option but to over-paint the work.
Hip-hop Raised Me was painted in September 2017 by North London artist Carleen De Sözer. It has not fared well. The painter fell out with Ali Hussain, at the time the owner of the taxi firm, who had given her permission to create the work on the walls.
A firm to which Hussain sub-let a section of his premises removed bricks for a window and a door, ruining one of the murals.
De Sözer said at the time: “I expect my work to be respected. In this case it has not been.”
Shah said: “The unfounded, untrue and slanderous accusations adversely affected our business.” Dalston Minicabs “has the utmost regard for the safety of pasengers” and with that in mind “we felt forced to remove the “iconic artwork”.
David Altheer 050521
* Dalston Minicabs is in Winchester Place (off Kingsland High Street), Hackney E8 2PG (020 7275 8900)
* Hip Hop Raised Me by DJ Semtex (Thames Hudson), paperback £19.45, hardback £26
* All pictures © David. Altheer@gmail.com, and all for sale for reproduction.
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