The 2012 Olympic Games are over, but some Britons seem to be waging a game of their own—armed with gold spray paint.
Great Britain’s postal authority, Royal Mail, apparently opened a can of (paint) worms recently when it permitted some of the country’s iconic red post boxes to be painted gold in honor of the UK’s gold medalists in the Games.
|Many of the iconic red postboxes have received a color makeover, thanks to Olympic gold.|
British Olympians won 29 gold medals during the Games. Many of the post boxes that were designated to receive makeovers were in the athletes’ hometowns.
The post boxes had been red since 1874, the Associated Press reported.
However, what began as a well-meaning, light-hearted tribute has gotten out of hand, as members of the public wielding gold, silver and bronze spray paint are now illegally coating post boxes, the Daily Mail reports.
The Royal Mail is currently “pleading” with the public to stop painting the post boxes, according to various reports.
One Painter’s Victory
One post box illegally painted was allowed to stay that way after a fuss and a few words from the Olympian who inspired said paint job.
Rob Smith was arrested after the unauthorized painting of a post box in Lymington, Hampshire, where gold-medal sailor Ben Ainslie lived, reports said. Apparently, the Royal Mail previously painted a post box gold in Cornwall, where Ainslie grew up.
National Education Network Gallery
|The post boxes in the UK have been red since 1874.|
Smith was released on bail and, after a few words of support from the athlete, the Royal Mail changed its tune.
Reports said the Olympian described the painter as a “legend of Lymington.”
A Royal Mail spokesman, Nick Martens, told The Guardian, “After speaking with Ben, we have agreed to repaint the postbox on Lymington high street at his request, and are delighted to do so. Ben is a local hero in Lymington, and now he will be one of the few lucky Team GB (Great Britain) gold medalists to have two gold postboxes celebrating his achievement.”
Martens added, “We still highly recommend people leave the painting of postboxes to Royal Mail.”