I noted the Banksy-inspired bloke on Tubs here a few weeks ago. Is it the real thing or just a pale imitation? That’s probably one for the forensic analysts to answer. (Where are CSI Seattle when you need them?) But it got me thinking about the “authentic” Banksy piece I’m most familiar with, the Royal Family on Stoke Newington Church Street (shown above in September 2006).
It’s been there for years and was there last time I passed by, but it’s been a couple of years. I took a quick look online and it turns out that Hackney Council (Stoke Newington is in the London Borough of Hackney) has painted it out, or rather attempted to paint it out, and even screwed that up.
Apparently the Council workers told the blogger who broke the story (as reported in The Guardian): “We knew it was a Banksy, love. It’s a Stoke Newington landmark, we know that. We told them, but they wouldn’t listen.” More than their jobs worth, apparently. And if the building’s owner hadn’t been home, no doubt they would have covered the whole thing.
Now Hackney Council is reportedly trying to figure out how to restore the piece and in the interim protect what remains: “… by adding an extra translucent layer to protect remaining visible parts of the Banksy from being tagged.” You couldn’t make this shit up. And I guess the real question is: will the “extra translucent layer” be enough to protect what’s left from the Council?