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Keep off our Worms by Banksy
A mural by street artist Banksy, possibly worth tens of thousand of pounds, has been scrubbed from a wall in Clacton-on-Sea (south-east England) by the local council. BBC News Essex reports that the mural, “…showing a group of pigeons holding anti-immigration banners has been destroyed following a complaint that the work was “racist”.”
The mural appeared this week in Clacton-on-Sea where a by-election is due to take place following the local Conservative MP’s defection to the United Kingdom Independence Party. “It showed four pigeons holding signs including “Go Back to Africa”, while a more exotic-looking bird looked on. The local council, which removed it, said it did not know it was by Banksy. Tendring District Council said it received a complaint that the mural was “offensive” and “racist”.”
It would appear that both Tendring District Council and the complainant might benefit from a crash course in the ‘art of irony’.
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?
Describing St Mary’s Curch the Bedforshire Parishes website states that –