Posted by Geoff October 24, 2007

Not sure how I feel about this....Banksy work being painted over in Tower Hamlets. Bit of context might help - Tower Hamlets is a shit hole. It is one of the most deprived areas in Europe and anyone who doesn't think gehttos exist in the UK, let alone London, should take a look.

Now the council say grafitti on their buildings (council housing) is a crime. And legally, of course, it is. Clearly all art is subjective and graff divides people more than most. Some hate all of it without question saying it's vandalism, others like some but hate others etc. Do the local community realise they have famous artists' work in their area? Maybe. Do they care? I doubt it.

But what I find interesting is that Banksy has been singled out - or at very least reported on. And this raises the idea of "worth" - after all a lot 'street' art is all about context, so there'd be very little point chipping it off and saving it. And there's more than enough Banksy work surviving around the place. Hell, he may even have meant it to be temporary as I doubt he started out thinking..."one day Angelina Jolie will pay £200,000 for my work".

If the Council want to clean grafitti, clean all of it, every last shitty tag daubed by some idiot on the estate and make it a level playing field. When decisions - paid for by taxpayers - come down to the artist involved that's really not the sound basis for decision making.

Story here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7057766.stm

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