Banksy Mural Crudely Removed By Landlord, Locals Fear It’ll Be Sold Off
By Alexa Heah, 18 Nov 2021
Image via Banksy
In the summer, world-renowned street artist Banksy went on a “Great British Spraycation,” producing many local neighborhoods in the country with his signature murals.
However, in a peculiar turn of events, it appears that one of the landlords in Lowestoft, Suffolk, who owns the building on which the artist spray-painted an image of a child with a crowbar, has crudely ripped off the wall on which the work is featured. Locals suspect the mural will be auctioned off at Julien’s Auctions in California.
“If it’s being removed to be displayed in a more prominent location within the town in an artistic context, then that’s lovely. If it’s because the owner realized having it in location adds £200,000 [US$269,000] to the value of the property but having it for auction… it could possibly fetch a great deal more… it’s a great shame,” said Miles Barry, chairman of local group Easterly Artists.
According to Artnet News, before Banksy left his mark on the typical concrete wall, the building had been put up for sale for £300,000 (US$403,000). Recently, the owners have increased its price to over £500,000 (US$672,000). Though, in comparison to the millions of dollars the artist’s works fetch at auctions, it’s no wonder the landlord would rather the mural be removed and auctioned off.
“It’s the extremities of capitalism. Someone does something for the public, it’s removed to make money,” said Peter Kennard, Professor of Political Art at London’s Royal College of Art.
“It’s immoral, but a lot of the buying and selling in the art world is immoral. For someone to take it down is digusting—it’s totally against the ethos of what Banksy is doing,” he told Sky News.
Julien’s Auctions, which will be selling the piece, estimates that it could go for between US$200,000 and US$400,000.
And there it goes! The Banksy of the little girl with a crowbar building a sandcastle on London Rd North in Lowestoft… removed from the side of the old electrical shop.— Jon Wright (@JournoJon) November 14, 2021
Video by @crispinhook pic.twitter.com/ac3zcgAbTQ
Before and After - real shame this Banksy in Lowestoft town centre has been removed...would be nice to think it was moved to become a permanent local installation, sadly I fear it will just be sold by the owner of the property for tons of cash pic.twitter.com/uKPuRVKcrj— David Ellis (@davidellisfan) November 15, 2021
[via Artnet News, cover image via Banksy]
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