A NEW public artwork on the Lisburn Road designed to make the area easier on the eye is not impressing local art critics.

Unveiled recently in a blaze of publicity, the painting by Italian artist Daniela Balmaverde has failed to strike a chord with local residents, according to neighbourhood spokesperson Mo McDevitt. She claims the artwork fails to reflect life in the lower end of the Lisburn Road, and that people are “unimpressed” with the finished piece.

The picture is the result of months of discussions with local traders and council staff and is aimed at covering unsightly hoardings on the front of the Lisburn Road and to brighten up the area. It depicts a glamorous, bustling cosmopolitan scene. However, according to Mo, an opportunity has been missed.

She told the South Belfast News: “It looks like an advertising campaign for shops up the road, while it’s also quite small, and only covers a bit of the hoardings. Parts of the road here still look unsightly.

“Overall, people don’t appear happy with it, and I think they missed an opportunity to create an artwork that really reflects life on this part of the Lisburn Road. It’s just a bit ineffective.”

But local Councillor Chris Stalford, who helped unveil the piece, said: “This part of the Lisburn Road acts as a gateway to the main independent shopping and restaurant area further up. The piece invites visitors and tourists to discover the Lisburn Road.”