THE owners of one of the most iconic pieces of public art in Scotland are facing calls to remove a convicted sex offender who was unwittingly immortalised in it.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) have been urged to act over Alasdair Gray’s famous ceramic mural at Hillhead Subway station in Glasgow.

The 40-ft piece, entitled All Kinds of Folks, includes a portrait of former Labour councillor David Fagan who is currently facing a prison sentence.

The Herald:

Mr Fagan, 53, was convicted earlier this month after telling an undercover police officer he wanted to rape a child and sending her messages about incest and abuse.

He was included in the work - five years before his offence - because he was instrumental in commissioning it while vice chair of SPT.

He appears in the bottom right corner, extending a hand over the west end of Glasgow, and posing next to the SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Sandra White.

Ms White said Mr Fagan should be removed in light of his crime.

When a member of the public raised the issue with SPT last week, suggesting Mr Fagan’s likeness be removed, SPT wrong claimed there were no real people included in the work.

However the Herald spoke directly to Mr Gray and his assistant Lin Chau, who both confirmed Mr Fagan was included in the mural because of his key role in its creation.

Mr Gray said: “He was one of the committee that commissioned it. I wanted to put in some of the people that had a hand in it.

“I did put other people in it too, including a street sweeper, and a Big Issue seller.”

On Mr Fagan’s court case he said: “I did not know about that. I am sorry to hear that.”

Ms Chau also confirmed the image was Mr Fagan and that he had visited Mr Gray’s studio to see the work in progress.

She was also unaware of his court case.

Ms White said it was “a shame” Mr Fagan was in the mural and SPT faced a “conundrum”.

She said: “If there was any way he could be removed from it, I would be supportive of that.

“Is there anyway Alasdair could work his magic to change who’s in it, perhaps?

“It [including real people] was done with the best of intentions, with people who worked in the area - you have the flower seller and the homeless fellow and it’s all very good.

“But it is a bit concerning that someone has been immortalised who has committed such a heinous crime. Certainly I would like something to be done to remove him.”

Mr Fagan was chair of SPT’s design advisory group in 2010, when it ordered new art for the modernisation of the Glasgow Subway.

He personally informed the SPT board that Mr Gray, one of Scotland’s most famous authors and artists, had been commissioned to design a mural for the station nearest his home.

In April 2011, Mr Fagan was quoted saying the £23,000 artwork was intended to be “the standard bearer for all other stations” in the Subway network.

The mural was unveiled in September 2012 after 14 months of effort, and Mr Fagan resigned as SPT vice chair six months afterwards.

He served as election agent to Richard Leonard, now the leader of Scottish Labour, in the 2016 Holyrood election in the Airdrie & Shotts constituency.

A four-day trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court heard the father of two and self-confessed porn addict had visited websites to investigate “taboo” subjects, including having sex with a parent and a child.

He shared his incest fantasies while talking to an undercover policewoman, who told him she was a 40-year-old mother of three from London.

Police categorised him as “high risk” and arrested him after the sting operation in late 2016.

The trial heard claims Mr Fagan had agreed to pay £100 to meet the woman and rape one of her children in her presence. He denied the charge but admitted depraved thoughts.

Sheriff Frank Pieri told jurors the evidence heard at the trial had been “frankly repulsive”, and deferred sentence until March after calling for background reports.

An SPT spokesperson said: “If the artist has now confirmed that the representation in the mural is Mr Fagan, this is not something SPT has previously been aware of and we will now discuss this with the artist.”