Banksy At The British Museum

By Rob Last edited 157 months ago
Banksy At The British Museum

Banksy's latest 'gallery infiltration' stunt was revealed today when the British Musuem was forced to admit that one for the items in their 'Roman Britain' collection was a hoax.

A 10in by 6in 'rock painting, entitled Early Man Goes to Market and depicting a man pushing a supermarket trolley was found yesterday after Banksy posted a message on his website claiming that the item "had remained in the collection for quite some time”.

The artist also offered a prize of an original Banksy painting to the first person to photograph him or herself next to the rock.

A spokesman for the museum is quoted as saying "We’re reasonably confident that it hadn’t been up for that long, maybe a couple of days. But we’re seeing the lighter side of it. It looked very much in keeping with the other exhibits, the explanatory text was quite similar."

Hang on, you mean the explanatory text which said:

This finely preserved example of primitive art dates from the Post-Catatonic era and is thought to depict early man venturing towards the out-of-town hunting grounds. The artist responsible is known to have created a substantial body of work across South East of England under the moniker Banksymus Maximus but little else is known about him. Most art of this type has unfortunately not survived. The majority is destroyed by zealous municipal officials who fail to recognise the artistic merit and historical value of daubing on walls.

Banksy's work is one of those things that seem to divide the Londonist team - it seems you either love him or you hate him. We'd be interested to know how the Londonist readership feel: is it 'subversive guerilla art' or just 'Hoxton wank?'

Let us know via the comments section.

Last Updated 19 May 2005


'subversive guerrilla art' of course. i love it. :)


I love it too. It brightens my day to hear about stuff like this


We are all post-ironic consumers now, with our tastes and values determined almost entirely by our external environment. This allows objects to be constantly repackaged for our 'enjoyment'. Different strata of taste and sophistication no longer exist and we are all united in our love of fleeting, peripheral, outsider art.

In this context Banksy thrives, but is in danger of eventually becoming a tired parody of himself unless he can continually evolve and repackage his conceptual art. In theory his scope is limitless, but there are only so many museums, walls, posters, etc. Ultimately the grand prize of his conceptual art would be to sell something completely worthless to Saatchi or the Tate. Such a 'hoax' would reveal that the emperors of art indeed have no clothes. Banksy's success in placing a conceptual artwork in a musty and outdated colonial museum is simultaneously a failure to place one of his works in an inner sanctum of the hypocritic self-appointed illuminati of the art world.


I'd rather my daily commute was brightened up with a Banksy than some bollocks corporate advertising. He should get down to South London a little more though.


A true robin hood of our time, saving the 'dead space' from the PR agencies that fill our heads with drivel.

He's set the standard, now just waiting for everyone else to catch up.


Fergus Ray Murray

Clearly subversive guerilla art. C'mon! His work brightens up our dull cities no end, and genuinely gets people thinking. We could use more like him.

relazimus maximus

banksy is ahead of the pack. i look forward to all of his chronies