It’s a burnt out car, but is it art?

A stolen car that was abandoned and set fire to in Middleton Park received the art gallery treatment as someone added a laminated caption card to it.


The car was discovered by staff on 4 November and moved to the top of Middleton Grove, near the Equestrian centre, awaiting collection. The wreck was removed on Monday (21 November 2016).


It’s not clear what point the mystery artist was trying to make. Perhaps the length of time taken to remove the vehicle, or a cynical view that a burnt out car somehow represented South Leeds?

South Leeds life asked its contacts in the Leeds arts scene – the fake sign clearly shows knowledge of art gallery conventions – but all denied knowledge. We were however pointed to a similar stunt in Penzance, Cornwall.

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said:

“Stolen cars are thankfully an infrequent occurrence at Middleton Park.  We have made a number of efforts to prevent unauthorised vehicle access to the park. These include:

  • The vehicle entrance gates on Town Street are locked at dusk (re-opened by 8am).

  • Vehicle access controls are in place around the boundary with a number of new controls installed in October 2016.

  • Our Parkswatch service undertaking patrols in parks across Leeds, deterring anti-social behaviour including unauthorised vehicles in parks.

  • Parkswatch and other council officers regularly liaise with the police with regard to unauthorised vehicle access to Middleton Park.”