Artists lead boycott in phone mast row

A GROUP of Glasgow artists is to boycott an annual open studios event over a row about the siting of a controversial mobile phone mast. Around 80% of artists at WASPS studios have vowed not to take part in "Open Studios" - Scotland's largest visual arts celebration, which was planned for October 8 and 9. Among the protesters are artist Ken Currie and internationally acclaimed collaborative duo Smith/Stewart. They are angry that T-Mobile has been given permission to site a mast on top of their flagship studio building in Alexandra Parade.

Artists at WASPS, which is a charitable organisation, and residents in Dennistoun claim they were not informed about the proposals, which will see a mobile phone base station sited yards from where they are working. A spokeman for the studio tenants said: "This is not a suitable site for a base station. Our concerns and those of the community have been ignored, and this is very bad for the image of WASPS. "We feel that a charitable organisation receiving large amounts of public money should not be involving itself in this sort of controversy. "There are more appropriate ways of raising money. We do not feel we can support the open studio day because of this, even though it will mean a significant loss of income for the artists." A petition with more than 600 signatures of local residents has already been handed into WASPS head office.



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