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ArtSplash refutes racism claims


RACHELLE AGARD, [email protected]

ArtSplash refutes racism claims

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A war of words about alleged discrimination has broken out between a South Coast café and a local artist.

Matthew Murrell, in a Facebook post dated October 20, accused managing director of ArtSplash Centre, Billy Hosford, of being discriminatory towards him.

The artist charged that Hosford accused him “of taking up space” while he was a paying customer of the Hastings, Christ Church establishment, as well as damaging property on the premises.

Murrell admitted he frequented the centre, sometimes all day, because his girlfriend Ro-Ann Mohammed was the head chef and it was convenient for him to do his work from there.

However, management of ArtSplash has refuted these claims.

When the MIDWEEK NATION contacted Murrell via Facebook yesterday, he said he was told not to speak anymore about the issue publicly.

“I’ve been advised not to blow up too much . . . . Preferably just online publications and not traditional media houses. It’s already an overwhelming level of exposure. Also, once my girlfriend leaves and finds another place of employment, we will consider speaking to a wider reach . . . . I’m just trying to take the right course of action going through this climate,” his message read.

At the café yesterday afternoon, Mohammed was on duty and three customers were inside.

Hosford said he had put up a statement regarding the issue on the ArtSplash Centre’s Facebook pageand had no further to comment to make.

The post stated that they “have never discriminated against any customer, service provider, vendor or anyone else for their race, religion or any other attribute”.

“. . . We reject these accusations and will continue to provide the high standard of service which the people of Barbados are accustomed to getting at ArtSplash Centre,” it added. (RA)

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