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Banksy Battle on the Streets of London

Street cleaners ordered to keep things clean in east London's public spaces are coming up against those who see Banksy's subversive graffiti as valuable art that should be protected.

BanksySaid one street worker: "We have to clean up the walls. We can't make a decision as to whether something is art or graffiti. The Government judges us on the number of clean walls we have."

The Independent reports: "Never mind that art tourists come from all over the world to try to spot the Grim Reaper with the smiley face or some of the other 30 or so Banksy works that have been made inside the borough boundary since he first started working with stencils seven years ago. The council says it will remove the art 'whenever we find it'. In that case, officers must be the last people in London not to know where it is. Maps available on the internet give exact locations. They also show where the cocaine-snorting policeman or the dinner-jacketed rats with a red carpet to their hole used to be. Banksy has been a victim of the street teams before, you see – but usually by accident."

In other words, get it while you can.

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  1. It's just graffiti. It's funny graffiti. But it's not Boy With A Fruit Basket, or nuffink.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Oct 29, 2007 4:54:14 PM

  2. I am not a huge Banksy fan, but I think that his art is interesting.

    Instead of risking the loss of his art to those who are responsible for cleaning up graffiti, why doesn't he seek out other places (i.e., privately owned establishments, people's personal property, etc.) where his art can be created and enjoyed?

    Of course, he could just start working on canvas... but perhaps it is part of his "schtick" to paint on walls in public places. Would his art be any less compelling if it were on canvas as opposed to brick?

    Graffiti vs. art... I guess it comes down to the eye of the beholder.

    Posted by: Jonathon | Oct 29, 2007 5:26:46 PM

  3. Man, Mika has been pretty quiet this past month...

    Posted by: Becks07 | Oct 29, 2007 6:10:18 PM

  4. I actually find Banksy's art really tedious, an excercise in belabouring the obvious, then rubbing it in people's faces.

    It's not that brilliant. Can't help but notice that the working-class guys who are doing a job are cast as philistines and villains.

    Banksy is a one-note joke. I can only imagine that Andy Towle has bought some Banksy art, and is hyping every dull non-event involving Banksy into some 'controversy'. Watch this comment disappear, by the way. Andy Towle owns work by Banksy, so he relentlessly flogs him. Watch this be censored and deleted. It's just true.

    Banksy is a hack graffitti artist with a flair for advertising. That's all.

    Posted by: Deschanel | Oct 29, 2007 7:10:23 PM

  5. @ DESCHANEL -- Now hold on there a minute, pardner. If what you say is true, then the following could well be true, too:

    * Andy owns a pair of Mika\\\\\\\'s old panties

    * Andy got points in Brokeback Mountain.

    Now, Andy doesn\\\\\\\'t appear to me to exude the kind of lifestyle that bespeaks the access to $800,000 for a Banksy painting (although, there is no end to the mysteriously moneyed in NYC).

    But if possibility #2 up there is right, then there ya go.

    If possibility #1 is right, then, well, that\\\\\\\'s just sick.

    At any rate, just chill out, have a beer and let the Banksy fad pass. As it surely will.

    Posted by: Becks07 | Oct 29, 2007 7:44:21 PM

  6. I think his artwork should be preserved. The state has no right to censor art. (or, as i see things, censor things at all, OR EXIST!)

    Posted by: Elassint | Oct 30, 2007 3:08:31 PM

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