Budd Brum JFK Saved?
Oliver Budd, President of the British Association for Modern Mosaic,
is the mosaicist son of Kenneth Budd, who made the great mural in
Birmingham back in 1968. Now read on...
First Lady to unveil JFK tribute in Irish
Irish Post July 2010
By FIONA AUDLEY
FIRST LADY Michelle Obama could make a stop in Birmingham’s
Irish Quarter to unveil a tribute to President JFK in 2012
Following a meeting held last week, the impressive mosaic in honour
of John F Kennedy, removed from St. Chad’s Circus in 2007,
seems likely to find its new home opposite the Irish Centre in the
Irish Quarter of Birmingham.
The Irish Forum’s Michelle Aucott, Irish Quarter Regeneration
Co-ordinator, told The Irish Post: “We hired an independent
artist to identify some locations where the memorial could be relocated.
Floodgate Street on the corner, directly opposite the Irish Centre,
was the most popular — with 98 per cent of people preferring
“After looking at all the locations, this site — with
the redevelopment of the Irish Quarter, its prominence in the Irish
Quarter and its close proximity to the Irish Centre — is definitely
our preferred choice.”
Roughly 100 people attended a meeting on Thursday, July 22, to
decide the best location for the memorial, created by artist Kenneth
Budd in 1968. Funds for the memorial were raised by the city’s
Irish community. It was removed when the roundabout was replaced
with a traffic junction in 2007 and has since been in storage —
to the dismay of Birmingham’s residents.
“This relocation is important for the community,” Michelle
Aucott said. “The memorial has never gone away — there
has always been a large amount of media coverage around it, asking
where it is and why it hasn’t been put back. The community
has kept that alive.”
Plans for the relocation continue and further talks with the council
must take place — but the Irish Forum hope the mosaic will
be back on view by the 2012 Olympic Games.
Michelle explained: “The USA’s athletics team will
be based in Birmingham for the 2012 games. We would like to tie
the memorial launch in with the American team coming over. So that
led us to think about getting the Obamas involved. Michelle Obama
in particular wants to visit Birmingham, and we could add the launch
into her itinerary.”
She adds: “I think there is a strong possibility that we
can achieve this — and we would be crazy not to try. Barack
Obama himself has Irish connections, so it would tie it all in nicely.”
Oliver Budd, son of the artist responsible for the £5,000
memorial, will work on the mosaic using original drawings by his
father,who died in 1995.
Final decisions on the location and form of the relocated mosaic
are expected by the end of the year and a planning application will
(The photograph is taken from Budd Mosaics, The Public
Art Mosaics of Kenneth and Oliver Budd by Oliver Budd. See
our Book Reviews pages.)