The city of London has been on a bit of Graffiti crackdown in a bid to ‘clean up’ the city for the London 2012 Games that are taking place there this summer, street artists have been banned from Olympic venues and several of those who dared contravene this rule were arrested last week.
But now the work of one of the world’s most celebrated street artists is under threat, the infamous Banksy. The infamous artist has already made it clear that he will not be discouraged from producing ‘Olympic inspired’ work and has already put two pieces up on his website.
One is an image of an athlete throwing a missile instead of a javelin and the other is of a pole vaulter jumping over a derelict waste-land. The pictures display Banksy’s typical satirical style and highlight the inequality in society.
Banksy, whose identity is a closely guarded secret, is hugely popular and his original works sell for thousands of pounds. When Bristol authorities washed away a Banksy in 2007, they were criticized and told they had made a massive mistake.
Police upholding the Graffiti zero-tolerance policy might find themselves faced with the terrible dilemma of having to power-wash into oblivion the work of one of London’s most celebrated artists.
We want to know if they would really do it? Would they really wash away a Banksy original just to adhere to this rule, which is clearly trying to present an unrealistic image of London when the world is watching for the Olympics?