Published: 19:50, 09 March 2018
A striking mural in memory of a teenager who died in a rail tragedy has reportedly been whitewashed.
The street art went up on a building in Margate last July as a tribute to 16-year-old Taiyah-Grace Peebles after her death on the track at Herne Bay railway station.
But now, the stunning work by local artist Vince Pugh has reportedly been painted over - despite the council saying it would remain.
Responding to fears it would be removed last summer, a Thanet council spokesman said: "The memorial mural has not been painted over.
"This mural was painted with permission.
"We are always happy for art works to be displayed with prior consent from the land owners to ensure they are not offensive or such like.
"The side walls have been painted over as they were ‘tags’.
"The council does not, however have any plans to paint over the memorial mural."
But now, it appears the entire artwork - which includes the inscription: "In memory of Taiyah Peebles. Taken too young. 2001-2017. Rest in Peace" - has been covered up.
The mural sparked an emotional reaction from friends and family of Taiyah-Grace when it first appeared. Flowers, cards and posters were left at the scene as a tribute to her.
The wall at the former parade of shops near the main beach has been established for some time as an area for artists to express themselves.
A spokesman for Thanet District Council said: "Thanet District Council does not own the property and did not whitewash over the memorial mural.
"Following an increase in complaints about nuisance graffiti, criminal damage and tagging across Thanet, we have been contacting private-property owners about sites that have been affected, giving removal and crime prevention advice and where this ??guidance has not been followed, issuing notices.
"In December, we contacted the managing agent at Gate Quays as well as several other properties in the Margate Central area.
"A letter of advice and subsequently a warning letter was issued about the tags and writing on the side of the property.
"The mural in the arches of Gate Quays was part of a street art mural project and done with the owner’s permission.
"A follow up email, with accompanying photos indicating the tags to be removed was sent on 28 February.
"To be clear, the owners were not instructed by Thanet District Council to remove the mural, however they do reserve the right to paint over and renovate their property and have a responsibility to maintain it."
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