Banksy Painted Over

A Banksy work was recently painted over by rail staff in the UK, which has prompted locals to complain. Rail staff now have photos of work by Banksy, so they don’t make the same mistake again.

Does that mean that money lifts an artist above being called a vandal? Are people annoyed by the fact that it’s such a great piece of grafitti or that it could have been sold at Sothebys for $50,000? If Thomas Kinkade suddenly gets the urge to start putting his art on buildings without permission, should we leave them up too?

banksy grafitti

I have nothing against Banksy.. I actually like him.. he makes me smile.. this story just got me thinking about art..

The rail officials first said “We don’t want graffiti on our property and we will remove it,” he said. “It’s ugly, illegal and the public don’t like it.”
They then said “We have now issued our maintenance crews with photographs of Banksy’s work, so if they come across it, they’ll recognise it for what it is. We will then try and remove it if at all possible and auction it for charity.” Read more at This is London

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. You do bring up a valid point here.. It looks like once artists have climbed the ladder to stardom, they do have the free reign to paint on walls and people do pay attention. Just playing the devils advocate here, if we discovered that Michelangelo had graffiti on some church walls in Florence, would we not go all out to protect it? I know Banksy to Michelangelo comparison is a little too much, but I guess once an artist reaches certain levels of recognition, the public would like to keep any output from that individual sacrosanct…

  2. WEll the locals have spoken and they like some of the graffiti, particularly Banksy. Problem is how are the rail service or others supposed to know which graffiti is sacrosant?

    I saw some fabulous graffiti while taking the metro into newcastle. It humanizes and adds excitment and colour to places that are ugly concrete, desolate buildings/places. So sometimes I think it is a real shame they are removed.

  3. I’m reminded of a scene in the movie Basquiat, the artist is walking down the street and he sees a couple of people stealing a piece of wall where he scrawled some graffiti years ago when he was unknown, now they’re valuable and they’re going to sell it for big bucks. He tells them to leave it alone, so they beat the crap out of him and leave him broken and bleeding in the gutter.

  4. Who are banksy or basquiat to say what they ought to do with the crap on the wall? It’s not their property.
    It sure isn’t their art anymore.
    Just because they vandalize someone else’s property with something clever, even genius doesn’t give them the right to decide what happens to it.
    That’s one of the cool things about streetart, in my opinion. It’s a no-strings attached gift. Or oughta be. I bet if anyone asked banksy he’d say FUCKIT. I put it ought there expecting it to be destroyed eventually.

  5. If spanksy or heroinalot were asked to tag some public site it would be a COMMISSIONED work. So unless it is $300mil people… they aint doing it. Egos abound. Even tho he says ” the days of being found with your art and becoming famous is over” he seems like a Gorillaz repeat!

    All graffiti artists full well know that if they get caught and cuffed and fined it SUCKS!

    Let’s see fansky get busted for it! He is no sacrosanct god of anything!

    An english tagger graffit artist? thats like an american streetkid who wants to go clean up a neighborhood! This guys is laughable!

  6. Don’t hate on Banksy, he has more balls then you will ever have,and yes it is graffiti even if it is stencils, he still is creative enough to think of the stuff!!!

  7. Ha! I’m sure Banksy laughs at all of this hype. Afterall, he uses stencils. He can simply hit it again, anytime he feels like it:)

    Thanks to Banksy, the world is thinking a lot differently about art=:)

  8. Whose property it is?
    What gave people the right to claim a piece of land their own and start building something in it?

    I’m not saying we should abolish private property here – just that it’s not sacrosaint and that a lot of people have been indocrinated to think it is.
    I guess that’s the crux of the “thinking outside the box” concept banksy ephathises so much.

    I don’t think graffitis should be allowed by degree of recognition of an artist, that’s like saying that if an artist is renowned anything he makes will be good.
    And that any artist that isn’t won’t make anything equally good.

    Graffitis should be allowed and encourage, that’s urban culture we are seeing here.
    Whenever there is a good reaction from the community to a graffiti, people leave it there.
    I would do that if i was a Railway CEO, it’s fucking awesome to PR.
    My guess is that they are just stupid, ignorant and insensitive dipshits, and could gain a lot from that artist’s work. Not exactly by selling it.

  9. Anonymous – you wrote about the Basquiat movie and said that he tried to stop them from removing his work. But that is not correct. Basquiat actually tried to add his mark to it to make it more valuable and the two guys beat him up for touching it. Perhaps we should see these street works as work for the people and not to be cut out/off and auctioned off for cash.

    Where does the money go once it is auctioned off?

    I like street artists because it takes the emphasis off the money and puts it on the message.

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