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Council Erases ‘Offensive’ Banksy Mural

Friday, October 17, 2014

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A satirical immigration-themed mural painted by the elusive street artist Banksy has been removed by local authorities following a complaint.

The Clacton-on-Sea council in Essex, England, did not know the mural had been created by the famous British artist, but ordered the mural covered in line with its policy, reports say.

The work, which had appeared on a boathouse exterior, shows five grim pigeons holding anti-immigration signs aimed at a sixth exotic-looking bird. The signs had read: “Migrants Not Welcome;” “Go Back to Africa;” and “Keep Off Our Worms.”

Banksy Mural

The Tendring District Council said there was a "sharp intake of breath" when they realized they had ordered removal of a Banksy piece.

Banksy’s artwork is valuable; his often-controversial and satirical works have fetched up to $1.8 million at auction.

Recently, vandals have targeted his work; last year, a piece was ripped off of a wall in London and appeared for auction in Miami.

Now You See It, Now You Don't

According to reports, the Tendring District Council received a complaint about the piece on Sept. 30 and sent a staff member to inspect the artwork.

The official agreed that it could be considered offensive and ordered its removal within 48 hours, using chemical strippers, the reports relate.

Then, an image of the original piece appeared on Banksy’s website on Oct. 2.

“There was a sharp intake of breath when we realized it was a Banksy,” said Nigel Brown, a spokesman for the Tendring Council, told the Associated Press.

Brown said the proper procedure had been followed in this case.

However, he added, the town would welcome an “appropriate Banksy original” on its seafronts and would be “delighted if he returned in the future.”


Tagged categories: Artists; Government; Graffiti; Graffiti removal; Murals

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