Luton Council remove Minions, but ‘Despicable’ vandals return with the Joker

The Minions survived several weeks before being painted over by the council. Photo: John Maher
The Minions survived several weeks before being painted over by the council. Photo: John Maher

We all enjoy a spot of light relief from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

And Lutonian John Maher certainly brightened up my day with some photos he sent me on Monday evening.

The Joker arrives in Luton. Photo: John Maher

The Joker arrives in Luton. Photo: John Maher

The first batch were taken a few weeks ago at the top end of the underpass between Albert Road and Cumberland Street in Luton.

He thought it looked pretty cool and pondered at the time how long it would be before the council washed it all away?

They are of course Minions from the popular Despicable Me children’s films – and you can’t help but smile at the imaginative paint job given to the bland bollards.

They lasted a good few weeks before council bosses sent their Minions out to return them to their original condition last week.

It provoked an angry reaction on social media.

One person said: “Grrr, a little light hearted and actually good quality art and they just had to get rid. Why? Especially when there’s so much awful graffiti around the town that just gets left.”

Another said: “Aww, they were fab. Brightened the place up and the kids loved them.”

The council for their part has said: “The council welcomes the support of residents in its bid for city of culture status and is keen to encourage all forms of innovative art.

“Before groups or individuals engage in what can be interpreted as illegal graffiti, the removal of which can be costly and take money away from other services, we would urge them to engage in dialogue so we can together display Luton’s vibrant art scene to its best advantage.

However matters took another twist yesterday (Tuesday) when John spotted the graffiti artists had been back with a new paint job.

He took this photo at 6am, but this time it wasn’t immediately obvious who the character was supposed to be.

It turns out it’s the Joker from Batman.

I know we shouldn’t condone graffiti, but we all have to admit the Minions brought a smile to our faces.

However, I can’t help feel the culprits have shot themselves in the foot and lost public sympathy with the Joker.

All that red scrawl over the pavement looks terrible.

The wording is adapted from The Dark Knight movie where Batman’s nemesis says: “This town deserves a better class of criminal… and I’m gonna give it to them.”

The council tell me they are aware of the latest “art”, so no doubt it won’t be there for much longer.

They added: “The council would like members of the group to get in touch in order to see if we can work together to encourage appropriate street art expressions in the town.”

STOP PRESS: As the Luton News went to press, we heard that more Minions had sprung up – this in Hitchin Road near Luton Irish Forum.

What’s your view? Should the Minions have been allowed to stay or is it unwanted graffiti? Email editorial@lutonnews.co.uk

This article first appeared in the Simply Sims column in The Luton News. Out every Wednesday from all good news outlets.