Council wants Banksy mural removed
Friday 24 October 2008
A council wants to take down a mural by street artist Banksy but admits the work "has value in the right location".
Westminster Council, which has voted to remove the 23ft high piece entitled One Nation Under CCTV from a wall in Newman Street, London, said it did not want to see the art destroyed, but was trying to take a stand against graffiti.
The mural depicts a red-hooded figure painting the words "ONE NATION UNDER CCTV" on the wall, while a US-style police officer holding a camera and a brown dog look on.
Deputy council leader Robert Davis said: "We are not saying the owners need to paint over this mural as we can see it has value in the right location, such as an art gallery.
"We simply want it removed from this wall and the owner is perfectly entitled to remove it and sell it if they wish.
"I take the view that this is graffiti and if you condone this then what is the difference between this and all the other graffiti you see scrawled across the city?
"If you condone this then you condone graffiti all over London."
The price of works by the elusive street artist have soared as his popularity has increased.
Jude Law, Angelina Jolie and Christina Aguilera are among those who have been prepared to pay high prices for one of his works.
Last night, a Banksy oil canvas, entitled Tesco Value Tomato Soup, was sold for £117,600 - smashing its £80,000 estimate at auction house Bonhams' Urban Art sale.
Last year a drawing sprayed onto steel by the street artist sold for 20 times its estimate at £288,000.
Westminster Council said it was considering removing another Banksy mural to help fund council services.
The slogan "What are you looking at?" appeared overnight opposite a CCTV camera in an underpass at Marble Arch.
"We are currently considering what to do with another Banksy in an underpass at Marble Arch," Mr Davies said.
"One option would be to remove it and sell it and invest that money into council services."
But not everyone has been happy to find Banksy's work adorning their property.
Transport for London sparked a furore when it ordered its workers to paint over a piece by the artist which had appeared outside Old Street Tube station.
The image, showing a scene from Quentin Tarantino's film Pulp Fiction, with Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta holding bananas instead of guns, was thought to have been worth £300,000.
Speaking at the time the company said the work created a "general atmosphere of neglect and social decay which in turn encourages crime".
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Sherlock series 4: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have to be 'persuaded' to return, says Steven Moffat
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove