Hidden Hans Feibusch church mural restored after 45 years

A hidden mural by the German Jewish artist Hans Freibusch, is to be restored to public display in Coventry’s St. Mark’s Church.

The 40 foot mural was hidden on a wall inside what used to be St. Mark’s Church in Swanswell, Coventry, but was converted to a health centre in 1972 where the mural remained behind a partition wall.

The Diocese of Coventry is now reopening the Grade 2 listed Church building which was built in 1869. St. Mark’s is being restored as part of a joint project between Coventry’s diocese and the Holy Trinity Brompton in London.

“The church was given over to the NHS in 1972 and for many years it was used as a clinic,” the Minister in charge at St. Mark’s, Reverend Phillip Atkinson commented.

“All the time behind this wall here was the mural waiting to be revealed. We are going to renovate the building. The remnants of what was left by the NHS will be cleared out.”

“We are going to turn it back into a church and enable people to see the mural and worship in this place once again,” he added.

The civic group, The Coventry Society, has spent numerous years in an effort to raise the mural’s profile.

“When the church was taken over by the NHS, they built a partition and created a chapel at the end where the mural was, but it was hardly used,” Committee member John Payne said.

“Over the years, hundreds of thousands of people have walked past the wall without knowing the mural was there.”

“Coventry has a very important piece of work in the city that it didn’t realise it had.”

Painter Hans Feibusch was forced to escape Germany after his painting was featured in an exhibition by the Nazis. He then came to Britain where he painted Church murals and converted to a member of the Anglican Church.

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