Giant Ed Sheeran mural removed as Brussels greenlights Belgium's largest hotel

Giant Ed Sheeran mural removed as Brussels greenlights Belgium's largest hotel
The giant art installation has been removed following an approval of planning permission to build Belgium's largest hotel. Credit: Roddy Thomson / The Brussels Times

A giant Ed Sheeran mural that dominated the Brussels city streetscape has been painted over, just as hotel chiefs secured planning permission to build Belgium's biggest hospitality venue.

The gargantuan wall painting by Flemish street artist Eres_125 adorning the key commercial intersection at Place Rogier between Brussels' main shopping artery of Rue Neuve and its Gare du Nord rail hub was commissioned to advertise the English singer-songwriter's summer 2022 tour dates.

But painters have now removed the mural upon receipt of planning permission from City Hall to extend the DoubleTree by Hilton Brussels City Hotel -- an independently-controlled and operated franchise of Hilton international facing Belgium's federal finance tower at Botanique -- to a 504-bedroom luxury symbol of life after three winters of Covid travel restrictions.

"It is likely that the works might start as early as April or May," the group's marketing PR boss Thomas Verbaet told The Brussels Times as he proudly showed off the blank canvass awaiting flagship construction work at the heart of the EU capital.

"The contract with the agency that rented our wall for the mural came to an end on December 31st, and we agreed to extend it for a month," he added.

Sheeran is due to perform in Brussels on July 22 and 23, straight after Belgium's national day celebrations on the 21st.

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