Peter Gibson, a spokesman for Keep Britain Tidy, asserts that Banksy's work is simple vandalism, and Diane Shakespeare, an official for the same organisation, was quoted as saying: "We are concerned that Banksy's street art glorifies what is essentially vandalism." In his column for The Guardian, satirist Charlie Brooker wrote of Banksy "...his work looks dazzlingly clever to idiots."
Painters joined the 19th century Parisian visitors to the town and passed on news of their discovery to fellow artists in the capital. One of the most notable was Édouard Manet, who passed a summer there with his family in 1873. Among the twenty paintings he made were depictions of boats at sea and the beachscape now in the Musée d'Orsay. Eugène Boudin first visited in 1874 and over the next twenty years made Berck the subject of some 120 paintings. He was followed in 1876 by Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic, who was so taken with the place that he set up a studio there and until 1885 devoted some six months of the year to recording the area and the fisherman's life.
The town has had an aerodrome since 1917. This was in part because at the start of the 20th century, the area played its part in the race to take to the air. The artist Jan Lavezzari, who had originally studied engineering, tested a double lateen sail hang glider from the Merlimont sand dunes in February 1904. He was followed there that Easter by Gabriel Voisin, who made a trial flight in a glider plane modelled on that of the Wright Brothers and over a few seconds was airborne for 50 metres.
Beside its medical establishments, the beach quarter catered to the moneyed classes in the second half of the 19th century and slowly filled with grandiose villas, hotels and amenities. Among these were handsome casinos, of which the principal was the Eden, also known as the Grand Casino de la Plage, with its theatre and music hall. This was destroyed in 1944 but is survived by its equally gorgeous rival, the Kursaal. The ambitious Cottage des Dunes, which tried to unite a luxury hotel and casino, failed commercially in 1913. After a brief spell as a hospital, it entered into official use. Another official building that survived the bombing was the town hall, which was built in 1893 and has murals painted by Jan Lavezzari.
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The Westminster City Council stated in October 2008 that the work One Nation Under CCTV, painted in April 2008 would be painted over as it was graffiti. The council said it would remove any graffiti, regardless of the reputation of its creator, and specifically stated that Banksy "has no more right to paint graffiti than a child". Robert Davis, the chairman of the council planning committee told The Times newspaper: "If we condone this then we might as well say that any kid with a spray can is producing art." The work was painted over in April 2009. In December 2008, The Little Diver, a Banksy image of a diver in a duffle coat in Melbourne, Australia, was destroyed. The image had been protected by a sheet of clear perspex; however, silver paint was poured behind the protective sheet and later tagged with the words "Banksy woz ere". The image was almost completely obliterated.
Many rural towns have begun using murals to create tourist attractions in order to boost economic income. Colquitt, Georgia, is one such town. Colquitt was chosen to host the 2010 Global Mural Conference. The town has more than twelve murals completed, and will host the Conference along with Dothan, Alabama, and Blakely, Georgia. In the summer of 2010, Colquitt will begin work on their Icon Mural.
In April 2007, Transport for London painted over Banksy's image of a scene from Quentin Tarantino's film Pulp Fiction (1994), featuring Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta clutching bananas instead of guns. Although the image was very popular, Transport for London claimed that the graffiti created "a general atmosphere of neglect and social decay which in turn encourages crime" and their staff are "professional cleaners not professional art critics". Banksy painted the same site again and, initially, the actors were portrayed as holding real guns instead of bananas, but they were adorned with banana costumes. Some time later, Banksy made a tribute artwork over this second Pulp Fiction work. The tribute was for 19-year-old British graffiti artist Ozone who, along with fellow artist Wants, was hit by an underground train in Barking, east London on 12 January 2007. Banksy depicted an angel wearing a bullet-proof vest holding a skull. They also wrote a note on their website saying:
In 2007, former Mayor Mark Mallory did a city exchange in Philadelphia. Their mural program, which in 30 years has completed over 3,000 murals, both impressed and inspired him. When he got home, Mallory challenged ArtWorks to create a mural in each of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods. We’re over half way there; 36 Cincinnati neighborhoods and 7 nearby cities proudly feature ArtWorks murals.
The artist’s initial mural was a portrait of a woman painted on a friend’s chimney. The piece went viral, and Grammer—who is a Disney artist now living in Los Angeles—knew that more mural art was in order. “I’ve always had this deep heart to bring hope and joy through my art with deep and destructive issues,” he explained to news channel KRCR. “When the first mural on Clark Road moved so many people in this community emotionally I knew I had to come back up.”
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