Art Thieves Try to Steal a Banksy in New Orleans

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    Feb 24, 2014 11:05 PM GMT
    A suspected art thief has been photographed trying to hack a Banksy - potentially worth thousands of dollars - from the wall of a rundown building in New Orleans.

    The man, who identified himself only as Chris, claimed he was a 'private art handler' moving it to the Tate Modern art gallery in London for an upcoming retrospective in April.

    The world famous gallery insisted no such exhibition was scheduled.

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    Suspicions were aroused on Friday when a team of men, brandishing heavy duty drilling tools, erected a wooden screen to obscure the view of the precious art work.

    Photographer Charlie Varley recounted his conversation with one of the men outside the drop-in center. 'He called himself Chris and said it would be shipped to Tate Modern in London,' he said.

    Residents said the group of at least four people spent hours smashing away bricks holding the work titled Girl with Umbrella from the wall.

    When concerned neighbours approached the work party, they were told the Banksy was being donated to 'the museum', according to another resident.
    'They said they were removing the piece to take it to a museum,' Tracie Ashe told WWLTV.COM

    'They didn’t specify which museum, and then he asked them for their permit. They didn’t have a permit. 'He also asked them who the owner was and if they had the owner’s permission and they wouldn’t give the owner’s name. When he kept questioning them about that, they packed up their equipment and left. ‘It’s a little bit scary because the wall definitely needs to be repaired. It could possibly be a load-bearing corner.'

    A security guard has now been stationed on the site to protect it from any further attempt to remove it.
    The man claimed they had permission of the building's owner to remove the work - a claim local media have not been able to verify.
    Representatives from the New Orleans Museum of Art and Ogden Museum of Southern Art both said their institutions had no plans to acquire the work, according to the NOLA Defender.

    The street art stencil first appeared in 2008 before the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

    As the value of Banksy works have spiraled into the stratosphere - with one selling for $1.8m - fears have grown that they will be targeted by thieves.
    A Banksy mural which was controversially ripped from the wall of a north London shop was withdrawn from sale at an auction in Miami amid claims it had been stolen.

    Slave Labour, which shows a young boy hunched over a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting, appeared on the wall in Wood Green, north London, in May, 2012, just before the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
    It disappeared from the side of the Poundland store and was due to be auctioned thousands of miles away in Miami but was withdrawn hours before the sale.

    Photos of the thief can be seen here: http://varleypix.photoshelter.com/gallery/21feb14-Banksy-Removal/G0000EtJ5C_yUVxc
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    Feb 24, 2014 11:48 PM GMT
    I read once about a sculptor who was commissioned to do a statue for a town; the sculpture was located in the divider of a road. Years later the town was doing some construction or something and decided to get rid the statue. The artist happened to be in the area and found pieces of the statue beside the road outside of town. He sued them and won. I forget what country it was but it was Europe; they have much stronger rights for artists in Europe than we do in the US.

    I don't remember what law was broken; I think it had to do with not being able to destroy an artist's work, even if you owned it.

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    Feb 24, 2014 11:56 PM GMT
    I find it ironic that people are upset that the vandalism is being vandalized.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Feb 25, 2014 1:07 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidI find it ironic that people are upset that the vandalism is being vandalized.


    Vandalizing it would involve drawing over it or trying to damage it. Physically trying to remove it in one piece so that it can be sold illegally to an art collector for (what would likely be) several hundred thousands of dollars is not vandalism, it's theft.
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    Feb 25, 2014 2:44 AM GMT
    This isn't the first time. When Banksy hit LA, a few of his pieces were stolen. The rest were vandalized. Haters gonna hate. icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 25, 2014 3:57 AM GMT
    Lol Banksy artistic statement full circle. Critique of art world now lauded. Lololol

    Ick ' now a scalding shower sounds good :O
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    Feb 25, 2014 4:01 AM GMT
    That's some gorgeous graffiti.

    Shades of Keith Haring.
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    Feb 25, 2014 4:12 AM GMT
    eagermuscle saidThat's some gorgeous graffiti.

    Shades of Keith Haring.


    That guy's art is a complete joke.
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    Feb 25, 2014 4:12 AM GMT
    Bunjamon said
    Scruffypup saidI find it ironic that people are upset that the vandalism is being vandalized.


    Vandalizing it would involve drawing over it or trying to damage it. Physically trying to remove it in one piece so that it can be sold illegally to an art collector for (what would likely be) several hundred thousands of dollars is not vandalism, it's theft.


    Yes, but the damage done to the owner's property is still vandalism.
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    Feb 25, 2014 4:15 AM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    eagermuscle saidThat's some gorgeous graffiti.

    Shades of Keith Haring.


    That guy's art is a complete joke.

    I'm not comparing his style or talent to Keith Haring. I'm comparing his canvas:

    ztytjd.jpg
  • TannerMasseur

    Posts: 7893

    Feb 25, 2014 5:40 AM GMT
    Bankable Banksy icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 25, 2014 5:32 PM GMT
    Likes what seen of Keith Haring
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    Feb 25, 2014 11:24 PM GMT
    morton-salt-girl.jpg
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    Feb 26, 2014 2:06 AM GMT
    ^^

    Wow - Banksy is not above recycled imagery?

    Banksy takes inspiration from salt?

    Haha :-)
  • TannerMasseur

    Posts: 7893

    Feb 26, 2014 11:18 AM GMT
    Snaz said^^

    Wow - Banksy is not above recycled imagery?

    Banksy takes inspiration from salt?

    Haha :-)


    I think Edward Gorey came up with the raining umbrella idea first.