A graffiti artist hit out yesterday at council chiefs who CENSORED his portrait of film star Charlie Sheen.
Dean Tweedy, 45, painted a mural of the actor on a disused shop in Sittingbourne, Kent with the slogan ‘this town needs a new Sheen’.
But Swale Borough Council told him it was ‘too political’ and ordered him to remove the words before this week’s local council elections.
Father-of-seven Dean – who uses the pseudonym ‘Bogus’ – obliged but then painted a zip over Sheen’s mouth.
The grandfather-of-one said: “I wanted to do something to lighten-up the place and get people talking about politics in the run-up to the election.
“I used Charlie Sheen as a bit of word play on the fact that the town needs a new ‘scene’.
“There are loads of shops closing around here and its crying out for a bit of redevelopment so that’s why I chose the location I did.
“It’s ironic I’m being told I can’t stir-up political debate – I thought that was the idea. It was done in humour and the words don’t allude to any party.
“It brings into question our freedom of speech.”
Swale Council confirmed it had asked for the wording to be removed.
A spokesman said: “While we appreciate the artist’s efforts in trying to brighten the town centre we cannot condone this type of graffiti, which has been carried out without permission.
“We will try to speak to the owner of the building before a decision is made regarding the rest of the graffiti.”