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Can art spark the poverty debate?

A gift from LSE alumnus and Emeritus Governor, Mario Francescotti (BSc Economics 1981), has enabled the installation of a series of three pieces of public art that highlight LSE’s values and principles on the exterior of the St Clement’s building, which now faces onto the LSE Square and the Centre Building beyond.

The first, five-storey-high piece is called Spectra by artist Tod Hansen, and was inspired by the Booth Poverty Map. Spectra is intended to illustrate LSE 2030’s first priority, ‘educate for impact’. Two subsequent murals – illustrating ‘research for the world’ and ‘LSE for everyone’ – will be commissioned subsequently, creating a visual representation of LSE’s key priorities for ten years until 2030.

Part of the LSE Library's archive of Charles Booth’s Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London (1886-1903), the Booth Poverty Map has been inscribed into UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. The wider archive documents the social and economic life of London, highlighting its contrasts, complexities and contradictions.