No Ball Games by Banksy. Photo credit ROMANY WG

Peter Walker, writing in The Guardian yesterday (Friday, 26 July 2013) reports that –

Not so long ago the appearance of a work by the superstar graffiti artist Bansky was a source of curiosity and local pride. Now it seems it mainly spells a commercial opportunity. For the second time this year a Banksy work sprayed on a shop wall in north London has disappeared, most likely to be sold at auction, to the consternation of residents and the local council.

A month after Slave Labour – a jubilee-themed mural depicting a child making union flag bunting – sold for more than £750,000 after being removed from the side of a Poundland in Wood Green, an even better-known work has gone from nearby Tottenham. No Ball Games, which appeared on a convenience store in September 2009, is one of the secretive Bristol-born artist’s most celebrated recent images. Typical of Banksy’s blunt polemic style, it shows a pair of stencilled children with their hands raised towards a floating piece of paper bearing the title’s words. Locals became concerned when the side of the building was covered in scaffolding and wooden hoardings this week. The graffiti has now gone, having been split into three pieces for removal.

As with Slave Labour, it has emerged that the people behind this process is Sincura Group, an upmarket concierge service that describes itself on its website as “acquiring access to the inaccessible”.

Both the No Ball Games and the Slave Labour murals are now certainly inaccessible to the general public who, no doubt, Banksy originally intended them for! Is it not time to ‘List’ outstanding works of graffiti, by artist such as Banksy, so that their ‘removal’ cannot be allowed without due process?

Full Guardian article here. See also our previous features on Banksy here and here.