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Italian Paint Job Provokes British Row

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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A popular pizza place in London has found itself in a spat with local officials over a rather unorthodox paint job.

Bunga Bunga, a pizza shop and night club in the city’s Battersea district, is known for being popular with celebrities, but it’s none too popular with certain locals right now, after owners had the building painted the red, white and green of the Italian flag.

Bunga Bunga's recent paint job
By Curran2, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Bunga Bunga's paint job doesn’t sit right with some locals, who reportedly complained to the borough council of Wandsworth.

Owners say it’s a welcoming sight for Italians in light of two upcoming events: The UEFA Euro 16 soccer tournament, which starts June 10, and the so-called “Brexit” vote, which will take place June 23. The latter is a referendum on whether the U.K. should leave the European Union.

But the paint job doesn’t sit right with some locals, who reportedly complained to the council of Wandsworth, the borough in which the establishment lies. Media reports says that the bar was given less than a month to repaint the façade.

Victorian Character

“The building is part of a conservation area within which all property owners are required to preserve the Victorian character of the streets,” a council spokesman told The Telegraph.

Bunga Bunga before paint job
By Tom Morris, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prior to the new paint job, the bar had a muted green first-floor exterior with a white second and third floor.

The block of Battersea Bridge Road where Bunga Bunga is located has many classic Victorian-era storefronts, though the buildings next door on either side are more modern-looking Royal College of Art facilities. Prior to the new paint job, the bar had a muted green first-floor exterior with a white second and third floor.

“We are sad the council does not share the many positive comments we have received and do not feel this creative new look fits in with our surrounding Royal Academy of Art neighbours,” a spokesperson told The Telegraph. "We are considering whether to appeal this and involve EU law whilst we still can.”

Royal Favorite

The pizzeria and attached karaoke bar are known to attract celebs and royals, including Prince Harry and, in 2014, Prince William and Duchess Catherine. The bar, which was reportedly founded in 2009, takes its name from the debaucherous parties that former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was said to hold.

According to media reports, the bar’s owners hope to keep the paint scheme at least until the monthlong Euro 2016 tournament is over in July.


Tagged categories: Color; Color + Design; Europe; Exterior Wall Coatings; Laws and litigation

Comment from Dick Piper, (6/8/2016, 9:54 AM)

It looks great!!!!!!! much better than the drab thing to the left.

Comment from M. Halliwell, (6/8/2016, 10:55 AM)

Hmmm....the south side of the street is more conservative Victorian style, but where Bunga Bunga is, simply isn't that reserved. You have the modern granite and glass Royal College of Art (RCA) Dyson Building to the north, modern steel and glass RCA "Painting" Scadder building to the east and the grey monolith of the RCA sculpture building with the bold Victorian beige/blue/grey Dominos Pizza place further down. Sure, the flag might be a bit over the top, but at least let them have it for Euro 16...then, perhaps the flag part can be muted (but I think the green works on the 1st floor).

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