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Big night out gives director a headache; Court imposes fine for defacing sculpture.

Byline: Dan Warburton

ACLUB director has been fined after he plastered advertising for a nightclub on a piece of public artwork and caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

Brian Elgey used the Ellipsis Eclipsis sculpture in Newcastle - created by American artist Danny Lane - as a platform to advertise his club night KoosDays@TigerTiger. Now the 27-year-old, of Leazes Park Road in Newcastle, has been prosecuted by council chiefs and been handed a four-figure fine for the stunt.

During a hearing at Newcastle Magistrates' Court, Elgey was ordered to pay a pounds 1,000 fine and a pounds 15 victim surcharge.

He was also told to give city council pounds 260 costs for breaching the Town and Country Planning Act and Town and Country Planning Regulations.

Last night Jonathan Bryce, environmental crime manager for Newcastle City Council, said the fine should act as a warning that the council would prosecute anyone who breaches rules on fly-posting. He said: "The city council does not tolerate any forms of fly-posting and will continue to take firm action against those who persist on using this type of advertising."

Earlier this year Koosday moved from its former base at the Madame Koo bar, on Collingwood Street, Newcastle, where it was held every Tuesday.

The event, which attracts thousands of partygoers every week, is now held at Tiger Tiger, in the Gate. To promote the change, organisers attached a poster on the Ellipsis Eclipses sculpture outside the leisure complex. Magistrates were told that Elgey's company had posted the advertisement and it had remained there between March 24 and May 12 this year. Elgey admitted his company had put up the advertisement but claimed he was unaware who owned the city centre landmark.

Last night he was unavailable for comment despite several attempts by The Journal.

After council chiefs discovered the artwork had been targeted, they were forced to seek specialist advice in order the prevent "further damage to this delicate structure during the repair process". The surface of the artwork had to be re-lacquered and re-polished.

Coun Stephen Lambert, deputy cabinet member for community safety and regulation, said: "Ellipses Eclipses is one of the city's most spectacular pieces of public art so we were disappointed someone decided to uses it in such a way as this.

"However, we are pleased with the outcome of this prosecution which sends out a clear message to companies who are thinking of using this method of advertising to promote their events is wrong and they will be held to account."

The Ellipsis Eclipses sculpture was unveiled in 2005 as part of a collection of artworks funded by Newcastle City Council, One North East and Land Securities, former owners of The Gate. It is made up of 1,100 delicate components, including hundreds of glass plates.

Installation difficulties pushed the cost of Ellipses Eclipses from pounds 121,000 to pounds 163,000 but the difference was met from a One NorthEast contingency fund.

CAPTION(S):

FINED Director Brian Elgey UNWELCOME ADDITION The poster that was slapped on Ellipsis Eclipses outside The Gate earlier this year. It cost Brian Elgey a fine
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 31, 2011
Words:521
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