Locals Lament Loss Of Graffiti

By Hazel Last edited 106 months ago
Locals Lament Loss Of Graffiti

Image of graffiti, definitely not art by lindseymclarke
We are pleased to announce that the world has officially gone mad: local residents in Stoke Newington are upset that graffiti has been painted over in what they call an act of vandalism. But then again, we’re talking about an original, vintage, 8 year old Banksy that is a much loved stencil artwork on the side of a block of flats that confronts anyone who walks down Church Street. And from the extensive archive of articles we have written on Banksy, we shouldn’t be surprised that the usual definitions of vandalism and art don’t really apply in this case.

Hackney council maintains that the stencil showing a spoof Royal Family is graffiti and needs to be eradicated. Locals argue that is art that attracts hundreds of visitors, cheers them up and is undeniably more interesting than the flat black that now covers the wall. While Stoke Newington mourns the loss of its Banksy, the artwork / act of vandalism on Essex Road has been refreshed and covered with protective Perspex to preserve it. One council’s public art heaven is another council’s public nuisance hell and yet more fuel is heaped on the ‘but is it art?' debate.

Last Updated 03 September 2009

lee jackson

It was a nice cartoon; I quite liked it. But, in fairness, it's been there eight years; so you can't really say the council has pounced on it.

Anyhow, just because someone draws witty cartoons, doesn't mean we should make it permanent. What about modestly funny cartoons? cartoons that just aren't funny? I don't think it's fair to expect a local council to make such distinctions; they aren't the Art Police.

I like Banksy but most graffiti is a load of shit, not art, nor beautiful in any way; and if the loss of the odd Banksy is the price to remove the rest of it, fine by me.

If you want to create permanent art, maybe you have to negotiate a space for it. If not, live with it being transitory.


This is pretty sad. I saw a piece of Banksy art in Bristol that had been attacked with blue paint when I was there last month. I can't believe folks would do that.

lee jackson

If it's any comfort, having seen it this evening, someone seems to have removed most of the black paint, to reveal the Banksy still underneath.


Reading into this story a bit further, there seems to be some suggestion that the wall displaying the Banksy was in fact private property, and that the owner of the property was extremely distressed by the council's actions.

If this is the case, and the council have effectively trespassed on private property in order to vandalise it, I don't think it would be unreasonable to expect some sort of prosecution. Criminal damage, maybe?

The council may not view Banksy's work as art, but surely if it's on private property then it's none of their business anyway?


As I understood from the news reports, Hackney have to get permission from the property owner to paint over it. They duly did this - but wrote to an address 25 years out of date which obviously got no reply. It seems that the owner tried to stop the workmen but was unsuccessful. Council ineptitude at its best.