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Safety First As New Town Bar Censors Artwork

by Melissa Clark

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Melville painting An Edinburgh bar has been forced to censor one of its paintings after punters were left tripping over themselves when caught staring at the nude artwork.

The Melville, in the capital’s West End, has decided to cover the naughty bits of the painting of a naked female to avoid the over-zealous attention it has been receiving from customers.

The painting, by Edinburgh-based artist Rachel Bell, has been turning heads – and creating an impromptu trip hazard – since it was hung above the staircase which leads to the toilets.

Rachel said: “I can understand why we need to cover up the painting, I mean it’s not every day you walk into a bar and see a woman painted in her natural form.

“I think it’s quite amusing though that it needs to be censored. I’m surprised more male customers have not been getting in trouble from their wives or girlfriends for staring really.

“The woman painted is beautiful though so I don’t really blame anyone for taking a second, if not third glance at her.”


The painting – which is unnamed – was sketched on a 120cm squared canvas of cartridge paper using ink and bright paint to highlight the bold and aggressive tone that owners, Malcolm Gray and Jon Eastwood wanted to create for the bar.

However, Malcolm did not realise it would have such a powerful affect on so many of his male customers.

He said: “Alongside our comprehensive redesign and refurbishment of The Melville, we felt the artwork was crucial to setting the tone and atmosphere we wanted.

“But now on a daily basis we’re seeing males taking a double glance at the painting and sometimes we’ve had people lose their step on the stairs as they stop to, appreciate the art shall we say.

“So for the interests of customer safety, and to have a wee bit of a laugh with our customers, we’ve hung a modesty patch on the important parts to ensure the guys find their way to the toilets without a hitch.”

Together, Malcolm and Jon have more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry, and under their Wood and Gray business operation they are the driving force behind the hugely successful pub the Earl of Marchmont, the sought-after Rocpool apartments and The Atholl, one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious hotels.

Press release issued on behalf of The Melville as part of a PR and media relations campaign. For more information on how PR could work for your organisation contact us now.

Melissa Clark

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