Mural of Censorship

Council offended by critical graffiti

27th October

Art Watch...

Westminster Council wound up by Banksy CCTV mural

Westminster city council in London decided to paint over guerilla-artist Banksy's largest work in the city.

The council ordered the removal to send a message to graffiti artists.

Robert Davis, deputy leader of the council and chair, told BBC News, If you condone this then you condone graffiti all over London.

Banksy, who conceals his identity, is famous for his political and satirical street art. His works have been found everywhere from the Gaza Strip to New Orleans.

The seven-metre-tall mural being removed depicts a child painting the words One Nation Under CCTV on the wall. A dog and police officer holding a camera are painted next to the graffiti artist.

The mural is painted on the wall of a building shared by Royal Mail and another business.


30th October

Update: The Battle of Newman Street...

Westminster Council want Banksy CCTV mural removed

The case of Westminster council versus Banksy raises an interesting legal precedent. Normally permission to paint a wall is only required from a local authority if the building is of listed historic value or the painting is commercial in nature, but now artistic judgement appears to come into it.

Westminster council first sought to remove Banksy's painting One nation under CCTV on Newman street in central London on the grounds it was an unlicensed commercial.

The owner of the property itself is apparently happy for the painting to remain in place so Westminster council has now sought consultation with local residents in order to prove the painting is having a detrimental affect on the area.

Referring to the adjacent Post Office building who have sought the paintings removal since it first appeared Banksy said I don't know what next door is complaining about their building is so ugly the 'No Trespassing' sign reads like an insult.

All of which leaves the possibility for what is believed to be the first recorded use of the 2003 Anti-social Behaviour act which for the first time gives councils the ability to enter private premises and force the removal of graffiti. A measure introduced by David Blunkett and which Banksy attacked at the time in a series of paintings and statements.


11th October

Update: Vandals...

Banksy mural removed from London street

The valuable Banksy street stencilled wall mural on the side of a London Post Office, which had become a tourist attraction in itself, has been censored. Presumably this was on the orders of some apparatchik at the Westminster Council or the Post Office, in spite of the fact that such Banksy stencil wall murals are worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Incredibly, Westminster Council have installed a WiFi connected CCTV camera overlooking the site, should anyone have thoughts of art restoration.


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