Centre to remove work by shamed Rolf Harris

Salisbury Journal: Rolf Harris at Wilton Middle School in 1978 Rolf Harris at Wilton Middle School in 1978

A PAINTING by shamed paedophile entertainer Rolf Harris hanging on the wall at Wilton Community Centre is set to be removed following his conviction for a string of sex assaults on young girls.

The 8ft work, called Virgin and Child, was presented to Wilton Middle School by Harris after 200 of its pupils were chosen to star in his BBC TV Christmas show in 1978.

The documentary was never aired due to a BBC strike but fellow shamed entertainer Jimmy Savile ‘fixed it’ for many of the children to appear on his programme, Jim’ll Fix It, and for the Christmas special to be shown the following year.

Harris, 84, was this week found guilty of 12 counts of indecently assaulting four girls in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

One of the victims was a childhood friend of his daughter and another was an autograph hunter aged seven or eight.

He is due to be sentenced tomorrow and police are currently looking into fresh claims against him.

The question of what should be done with the painting, which was bestowed to the community centre in 2006 following the closure of the school, was discussed at a Wilton Town Council meeting on Tuesday.

The community centre also had a large badge which said “Jimmy Fixed It For Us” but that was removed when allegations against Savile came to light.

Cllr Charlotte Blackman said the issue will be discussed at the next Wilton Community Centre meeting and she would welcome suggestions as to what should be done with it.

Cllr Peter Edge said: “To destroy it is not an option because prior to this going on there was an awful lot of value in Rolf Harris paintings. It is a work of art and it should not necessarily be destroyed.”

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