Brent Council leader vows to return mural and plaque taken from Kensal Rise Library

Campaigners furious after building is stripped of its contents in the early hours of this morning

The leader of Brent Council has vowed to try and ensure that a selection of murals and a commemorative plaque that were taken from Kensal Rise Library in the early hours of this morning are returned.

Furious campaigners, angry at the decision to remove the murals, which were painted specifically for the building in the 1930’s, claimed that the library has now ‘lost its identity’.

A plaque commemorating American author Mark Twain, who opened the building in 1900 was also removed after council officials snuck in at around 3am to strip the libray of its contents.

Furious campaigners branded the council a ‘disgrace’ during a meeting with the leader Cllr Muhammed Butt, outside the building in Bathurst Gardens this afternoon.

A selection of famous names who have backed the crusade also voiced their displeasure.

Michael Frayn, a playwright and novelist said: “They took the books out - and the plaque down? So the library is now an unlibrary, in the way that people became unpersons in the darkest days of the Soviet Union.

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“I hope they took the titles of the books off as well. Removing unbooks from an unlibrary - who could possibly object?”

The campaign to save the building has previously attracted the support of playwright Alan Bennett and novelist Terry Pratchett.

Biographer, Sir Michael Holroyd added to the criticism.

He said: “The wanton destruction of the Kensal Rise Library - its books removed, its history erased - is a gross act of philistinism which will bring lasting shame to all involved”

However, Cllr Butt, in only his second week as leader after ousting Cllr Ann John OBE, insisted he planned to return the murals and plaque to the building.

He said: “I would like to assure the campaigners that the murals are in safe keeping and can easily be returned if a plan can be agreed with All Souls College.

“I have written to them requesting a meeting and will do my utmost to find a solution that all sides can agree.”