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>> News > United Kingdom
Local Artist Moves Birmingham 1 inch to the Left - June 15th 2004

An English artist has laid claim to one of the most controversial pieces of art to date: Keith Wilson, from Norfolk, has announced he has recently completed his most challenging work yet – moving the entire city of Birmingham one inch to the left.

Keith’s work, “Titanic Insignificance” has attracted attention from art critics world wide and speculation into his intentions behind the piece. Many have derided the attempt as pointless whilst others remain sceptical that it even took place. Most experts have agreed that in order for Keith to have accomplished his task he would have had to demolish the whole of Birmingham and rebuild it. Most experts also agree he should have stopped after the demolition.

Despite the criticism, Keith remains adamant that he has done it, completing the project over a period of 3 months.

“Obviously, to move an entire city, particularly one the size of Birmingham, in one night would be too much for a single artist.” Keith explained, “I did look into ways of doing it, but they involved getting assistance from other people. The trouble is I wanted the end result to be exclusively my own vision and many people would have different opinions on exactly what one inch is and which direction is left.”

As a result, Keith Wilson came up with a 12 week plan, dividing the city into sections and transposing each section by one inch each night – the final section being moved into place at 0300 BST today.

Despite the mixed feedback, Keith says he is happy with his work. Certainly he is the first artist to attempt such a task and almost certainly will be the last. After hearing the news Birmingham city council immediately passed an emergency law forbidding artists to move parts of Birmingham to alternative locations. It is widely expected to be followed up in the Houses of Parliament with a national ban.

“Artists cannot be allowed to move towns, cities or villages simply in the name of art.” Birmingham City Councillor Olivia Hankman declared, “At the end of the day we have been let of the hook by Mr Wilson’s actions. What if he decided to move Birmingham 500 miles instead – no one would be able to find us. They’d end up at a giant hole in the ground that their maps and travel guides explained as being a cultural and vitalising experience.”

Keith Wilson was quick to defend his position pointing out that Birmingham was a hole in the ground described as being a cultural an vitalising experience. He did though concede that his work had been the cause of many expensive luxury saloons kerbing their alloys after their satellite navigation systems told them to turn one inch too soon.

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