Banksy’s icon “One Nation Under CCTV” piece in Westminster is going to be removed.
That’s what The Times says in this article has been decided by the local council.
The Times has learnt that Westminster Council has demanded that a mural by the pseudonymous graffiti artist, a 7m (23 ft) criticism of Britain’s CCTV culture, must be painted over. While other authorities have turned a blind eye to Banksy, the council said yesterday that it would remove any graffiti, regardless of the reputation of its creator. Westminster said that Banksy had no more right to paint graffiti than a child – which, ironically, is the subject of the piece in question (pictured above).
Robert Davis, the chairman of Westminster’s planning committee, said that the personality behind the artwork was irrelevant. “If we condone this then we might as well say that any kid with a spray can is producing art,” he said. “To go and deface other people’s property is graffiti. Just because he’s famous doesn’t give him that right.”
Simply put: this sucks. The piece is fantastic, and fantastically located. In fact, I just told some friends visiting from the states about it tonight, and they are planning visiting the piece. I understand, though do not like, that the councils have to buff some street art, but it is just stupid for them to buff a Banksy. It is a legitimate tourist attraction. And not that I approve of selling street pieces, but the owners of the wall could have made good money just tearing the piece down and selling it instead of letting it get painted over.
Mike Marcus seemed to have the right idea about how to combat the buff with his “Don’t remove me, I’m a Banksy” stencils, but alas, they may no longer be enough to save street art from local councils.