Club facing investigation over graffiti

A CITY nightclub could face prosecution after graffiti was written on the side of the landmark Museum of Scotland building.

The chalk graffiti on the Chambers Street attraction has outraged city heritage groups and leading councillors.

Now, The Venue in Calton Road could be prosecuted over the bright blue graffiti which advertised one of its club nights.

It also faces the prospect of appearing in front of the licensing committee to explain the graffiti.

The incident follows a spate of vandalism and graffiti appearing on city landmarks.

Today, leading city councillors branded the chalk graffiti "shocking" and pledged to investigate.

Councillor Bob Cairns, a member of the licensing committee, said: "It is concerning. It is a superb building with wonderful stonework.

"The Venue is causing a lot of problems with fly-posting especially. It has been my view for some time."

He was today backed by colleague Brian Fallon, environment leader. Councillor Fallon said: "It is shocking. It has to stop. I will be in touch with our environmental health department to get it cleaned."

He added: "I will ask my officials to take whatever action is available. Prosecution is something we will look at if it is open to us."

The bright blue graffiti on the museum advertised the Mischief club night at The Venue on Saturday.

Today, Councillor Steve Cardownie, leisure and culture leader, called for the culprits to be charged.

"If we can track down those who are responsible, then they run the risk of paying for the cost of removal or being charged with defacing a building.

"It brings the whole event which is being promoted into disrepute."

He added: "If the owners of the club find out it is the club night organisers who are doing this, then they should re-consider whether they will book them in the future."

Martin Hulse, Cockburn Association director, said: "It is a fantastic building and it really doesn’t need this. The council and the club need to collaborate on this."

A spokesman for The Venue said: "I am outraged. I do not support this in any shape or form. It is obviously something that we do not want to be associated with."

The spokesman added: "I will be in touch with the promoters."

He ruled out banning the club night, but insisted he would consider taking "disciplinary action".

A spokeswoman for the Museum of Scotland said: "Graffiti is an everyday hazard and it is something that we will take steps to remove."

A spokesman for the promoters of Mischief was angry about the graffiti and pledged to investigate the incident.

He said: "That was a stupid place to put it. It is a nice building and prominent. I shall look into it. I’ve told them what to do and what not to do."

In February, city nightclub promoters provoked fury by resorting to spray-painting on a park walkway. Graffiti advertising for the club night organisers, The Naturalists, appeared on Middle Meadow Walk.

Last year, Joseph Leftwich, a student from the Edinburgh College of Art, started a one-man advertising campaign by chalking the message "Who is Ryder?" across landmark buildings.