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The Paolozzi mosaics: 'Why I'm leaving London'

Kate Lloyd

I used to love you London. But, this city has no place for a mosaic like me anymore. 

I've been hanging out on Tottenham Court Road since the '80s, cheering up suits and tourists as they piled on to the escalators. And, I do still try to be cheery as they take my picture, but I'm starting to crack. 

As the city becomes more and more expensive, I feel like I'm being taken apart piece by piece. I can't think of the last time I could afford a night out on the tiles. I'm literally going up the wall.

All anyone cares about now is bloody Crossrail. You don't want an old-timer like me ruining your £400million new development. You want 24-hour tubes and new builds and expensive restaurants. I once felt so polished amongst the city-slickers, but now I'm just feeling a little square. 

London, you were once the perfect fit for my colourful personality, but it's time for me to wave goodbye to the high rents, chain restaurants and over-worked under-paid masses. 

I'm following my roots back to Edinburgh. I've found a new home in the art school. It's time for me to clean myself up. 

While 95% of the Eduardo Paolozzi mosaics will remain in London, the endangered escalator arch designs moving to Edinburgh will be restored. 

In pictures: the new entrance to Tottenham Court Road

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