Banksy’s No Ball Games Mural Removed From Tottenham

No Ball Games. By Kyoto Song

Banksy’s No Ball Games before it was removed. Photo by Kyoto Song

A second Banksy mural has been removed from a wall in Tottenham.

The artwork, called No Ball Games which shows two kids playing with a “no ball games” sign was cut out of the side of a shop yesterday, at the junction of Tottenham High Road and Philip Lane. The stencil dates from 2009.

It’s been taken by the same group who sold Banksy’s Slave Labour, which was taken from a wall in Wood Green last February. The Sincura Group said it had not been appreciated in situ and would be sensitively restored and sold in 2014. Slave Labour went on to reach an estimated £750,000 at auction in June.

Haringey Trades Council secretary Keith Flett said, “The Banksy was an important cultural feature of the area, and if it has been removed – which currently looks rather likely given the wall is being re-plastered – it will be another indication that local people’s wishes in the area come second to the interests of profit.”

Sincura Group released a statement saying the artwork had been “gifted” to local charity Step by Step, which works with disabled children and their families in Haringey.

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  • wadeevans

    Who are Sincura?

    • HoosierSands

      They stage events and offer concierge services to rich people.

  • cocoapony

    This “Sincura group” have taken it because “it had not been appreciated in situ”

    …So, do they speak for the local community? Have they consulted them ALL?
    Is their appreciation, and that of passers-by & passing traffic not valid?

    Could they not instead compile a glossary & map of these artworks for people to seek out and visit ?- or accompanying in situ information for ppl to come across, like blue plaques?

    Oh, sorry – just realised: by “not been appreciated” they meant it had not been earning ££££. Silly me.

  • Seb

    Who owns the freehold on the building? Are they taking a cut?

  • Conscience
  • gr8

    i’m thinking of a word that rhymes with tanker….

  • Kaneohe

    “not appreciated in situ”, so instead they will sell it to someone and it will be locked away where it will appreciated by only a few who have access.
    Who owns this building? Surely they must have agreed to it being removed…??

  • jc8080

    I think a lot of unfair criticism has been placed on the Sincura Group. I know the company, and they are an honest and moral business. They don’t go round finding banksy artworks to rip off walls and sell.
    People approach them and they evaluate every piece on merit. They sit with the owners and explain the impact it has. They do not own these pieces, they are no involved in the removal, they just manage the process. They have never taken a single penny in profit from banksy’s street artwork.
    At the end of the day if the owners of these pieces wish to sell them then surely it is better going to experts in the field who can ensure the art is restored to it’s full glory (i saw slave labour and it was stunning), sold in a controlled manner, and that something good comes out of the sale (ie donations of funds to charities).

    • Jim Williams

      what a load of rot! the Sincura group will get their deserts.

      What will they steal next?

      • Jim Williams

        They are clearly not moral.

  • Adam White

    This wouldn’t happen if people wouldn’t do stupid things like placing perspex over Banksy works in the first place. The cult of Banksy has elevated the worth of his artwork and people therefore want to own originals.

    I’m not really a fan, but I’ve always thought graffiti was intended to be a temporary thing – it would be either defaced by others or painted over in time. This desire to preserve “street art” is both missing the point and creating the conditions which lead to it being cut off the sides of buildings and sold to the highest bidder.

    • Foureyes

      I agree, Adam. There’s a fundamental mismatch when works of art become commercially desirable, especially when it’s graffiti or other iconoclastic stuff. I remember when I was an art student being really told off by a gallery security guard for getting too close to a surrealist art work – the ‘fountain’ urinal, I think it was. I remember wondering, what would Duchamp say about this? The intentions of the artist seem to come way behind profit and celebrity in the queue.

  • J

    I only saw it for the first time last Saturday. I was walking down the High St and there it was. I’m alien to the area.
    And I thought how clever, cheeky and unexpected. I guess that was the original thought behind the work ; to be surprised, to witness and to evoke a thought, duscussion or just to be reminiscent.

  • Nicolò

    I started a petition asking Sincura to return the artwork to the people of Tottenham:

    • Tiago Ferreira

      It does not belong to the people of Tottenham to begin with.

      • Nicolò

        Probably not in the literal sense of the sentence, but it does belong to the street corner Banksy painted it on. He says so himself: And it certainly doesn’t belong to anybody else either.

        • Tiago Ferreira

          It belongs to the proprietor of that wall, obviously. Doesn’t mean that I like it, but that’s how it is. If a famous artist made a painting on a canvas I owned, it wouldn’t stop being mine either.

          • Nicolò

            I see your point, Tiago – I guess we differ in the way we view ownership: yours (can’t say it’s incorrect) from a legal point of view, mine from a moral/cultural/social one. Both are worth taking into account and interact in interest ways with each other.

  • Jim Williams

    Who really ARE the Sincura group?
    What gives them the authorisation to vandalise walls?
    Moreover, what gives them the authorsation to steal public art?
    What ever is next? will they steal Nelson of its column?
    They should be charged.

  • towanda

    Hey Adam, what would happen if the artwork wasn’t covered with perspex? I think this kind of graffiti is a bit different to what i normally see…
    I don’t know who the Sincura Group is, but should they sell artwork without knowledge and approval of the artist, then I only have one word for this. Also they of course do this because they have nothing better to do….means non profit?? C’m on.

    • Adam White

      Well, I would assume that the artwork would eventually have been defaced or changed or even painted over had it not been covered in perspex. That’s the nature of street art or graffiti: it’s temporal. We are to appreciate it (or despise it) when its there.

      As far as the sale of the work without the knowledge or approval of the artist goes, I’m afraid he gave up that privilege when he made the unilateral decision to paint his work on someone else’s property. As far as I’m aware, he did not ask the building owner for permission.

      Now, I’m not a big believer in private property (at all), but I can’t see Banksy or any other street artist appreciating it if I entered his flat and wheat-pasted an All Saints poster over his settee or stencilled a pro-Tory piece on his kitchen wall.

      Even if we agree that the wall is public space, what gives one member of the public the right to decide what everyone else has to view (or endure, depending on your opinion)?

  • multi0312

    Grafitti. Get rid.