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To: North Tyneside Council

Restore Palestinian Artwork at Tynemouth Metro Station

A mural painted in 2012 by Palestinian teenagers visiting North Tyneside from Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon has been taken down by North Tyneside Council in October 2023 citing an undisclosed threat made to deface the art piece. This artwork should be restored to its rightful place at Tynemouth Metro station instead of being kept in storage by the council.

Why is this important?

In July 2012 a group of young Palestinian teenagers and their teachers from Shatila Refugee Camp in Beirut, Lebanon, visited North Tyneside. During their time in the area, working in collaboration with two local artists Faye Oliver and Anthony Downie and supported by North Tyneside council, they created a large friendship mural (

This friendship mural was put on display on a platform wall at Tynemouth Metro station - where it remained for over a decade without issue or incident. The friendship mural was a significant part of the local culture and heritage and it was seen as an example of the role art and culture play in bringing different cultures and communities together and part of a long-term project between the Shatila refugee camp and North Tyneside , which promoted various cultural exchanges.

Refugees in their day-to-day lives endure conditions and hardships that many of us cannot imagine. Hence, this creative outlet was not just a piece of art, but also an emblem of solidarity, representing the plight and resilience of Palestinian refugees across the world. According to UNRWA, as of 2023 there are over 5.9 million registered Palestine refugees globally (source:

One of the main purposes of art is to provide an outlet and create a space for as many voices as possible. Encouraging children who endure horrific conditions and hardships as refugees to engage in creative works has a marked positive impact on their development and wellbeing.

The mural was taken down by North Tyneside Council in October 2023, citing an undisclosed threat made to deface the art piece.

Since then, there is no stated plan for returning it to public view, which seems counter to what it hopes to achieve. The mural is not overtly political, but by its very existence raises awareness about the Palestinian & refuges plight – not the culture of power, but the power of culture as the Palestinian academic Edward Said put it.

As such, the act of removal is a direct attack on Palestinian & refugees arts and culture and fundamental principles of freedom in the arts. This has removed Palestinians from the view of the public in North Tyneside, an area proud of its cultural exchanges with people from many parts of the world.

We urge North Tyneside council and all other authorities responsible for the removal of the friendship mural, at the earliest possible time, to reinstate this important piece of artwork at Tynemouth Metro Station or at the very least seek an alternative secure public place to put it back on display in the community.

How it will be delivered

This petition will be delivered to North Tyneside Council directly.

Tynemouth, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2024-06-25 09:34:48 +0100

Our Freedom of Information request was submitted on 14th May 2024 and included the following question and queries:

- Who has the authority to determine the repositioning of the mural on Tynemouth Station?
- ⁠A copy of any protocol, or agreement with Station Developments regarding the placement of artwork in the station or on buildings within the station
- ⁠What is the relationship or business contract arrangements between NTC and Northumbrian Markets Limited?
- ⁠A copy of any agreement in respect of details of maintenance responsibilities between NTC and Station Developments from 2012 relating to the Mural
- ⁠Do Northumbrian Markets have any influence over decisions about the mural and its return to Tynemouth Station?
- ⁠Where exactly is the Mural being stored?Has there been any damage to the Mural?
- ⁠Acopy of the minutes/notes and/or audio/visual record of the meeting that decided to remove the Mural from Tynemouth Station.

2024-06-25 09:33:51 +0100

North Tyneside Council (NTC) have accepted an invitation from the Restore Palestinian Artwork at Tynemouth Metro Station Group for a meeting during the first week of July to discuss the future and restoration of the mural.

Also under the Freedom of Information Act/Environmental Information Regulations, our group have submitted a Freedom of Information Request to NTC for the following information regarding the removal of the Palestinian Children’s Mural from Tynemouth Station. The information will give transparency to the decisions leading to the removal of the mural and accountability for its safety and care. We have not been allowed to see the mural since it's removal despite requesting several times.

The FOI response from NTC was due by 14th June 2024, as required by law, however we are still awaiting their response.

2024-03-12 13:43:56 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2024-02-26 21:23:52 +0000

As a group of local residents campaigning on this issue we want to say a big thank you to local businesses, community groups and other types of venue who have all put up our posters and some that have allowed us to drop our flyers in to be put out for your customers.

This is what communities in action looks like and we really appreciate all the solidarity, kindness and support.

Thank you to Ruby & Frank, Buy the kilo, Deep North, Due North, Tynemouth Coop, Jules Fleur, Sea Banks Kiosk, Priory Cafe, Regular Jo's, Tanners Smokehouse (Three Tanners Bank), Wheel House Coffee , Barca Tynemouth, Rene's, Common Ilke, Land of Green Ginger, Karma Coast, Our Local Tynemouth Post Office, La Riviera, Artichoke Tynemouth, Head of Steam, Longsands Fish Kitchen, Davanti Classico, The Deli Around The Corner, Tynemouth Social Club, Riley's Fish Shack and Gulshan Tynemouth.

2024-02-26 21:22:00 +0000

Coverage now also in the Newcastle Chronicle -

2024-02-25 20:07:28 +0000

Article in the Northern Echo covering our petition -

2024-02-25 20:01:52 +0000

Coverage of our efforts in Newcastle World -

2024-02-24 08:50:58 +0000

500 signatures reached

2024-02-20 17:55:57 +0000

100 signatures reached

2024-02-20 15:17:41 +0000

50 signatures reached

2024-02-20 13:53:58 +0000

25 signatures reached

2024-02-20 12:55:36 +0000

10 signatures reached