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Artist wants his day in court

By Jilly Beattie, 23 March 2015 Belfast Live

Graffiti artist Christoff Gillen wants to spread love across the world starting at Belfast City Hall but the council plan to punish him with a fixed penalty fine that could hit £2,500.
A man charged with writing the word ‘love’ onto a Belfast pavement is willing to go to court in a protesting for peace.

Christoff Gillen has been fined £80 for chalking the love message outside City Hall - and the bill could go up to £2,500 if he refuses to pay it.
The University of Ulster has offered to pay the fixed penalty fee but artist Gillen has begged them not to.

He said: “My art is speaking to people. It’s about love, love for all people, love of all people. What have I done wrong? I am spreading the word of love so how wcan that be wrong or offensive?
“I was invited by my former tutor at the university to take part in an art performance for the Eighth International Festival of Art and Design and this just made sense to me.
“It’s a protest for love. It’s a protest for tolerance of each other no matter who or what we are gay, straight, Catholic, Protestant and everything in between.
“I want my day in court. I want to show people how ridiculous it is to be punished for spreading the message of love.”