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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."[73] 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.[74]
It was reported that then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Banksy a vandal whose work is not the definition of art, and that the NYPD's vandal squad was on the hunt for Banksy over his various graffiti art and installations.[114][115][116] One creation was a fiberglass sculpture of Ronald McDonald and a real person, barefoot and in ragged clothes, shining the oversized shoes of Ronald McDonald. The sculpture was unveiled in Queens but moved outside a different McDonald's around the city every day.[117][118][119] Other works included a YouTube video showing what appears to be footage of jihadist militants shooting down an animated Dumbo; travelling installations that toured the city including a slaughterhouse delivery truck full of stuffed animals and a waterfall; and a modified painting donated to a charity shop which was later sold in an online auction for $615,000.[120][121] Banksy also posted a mock-up of a New York Times op-ed attacking the design of the One World Trade Center after the Times rejected his submission.[122][123] The residency in New York concluded on 31 October 2013;[120][124] many of the pieces, though, were either vandalised, removed or stolen.[125]
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There exists a debate about the influence behind his work. Some critics claim Banksy was influenced by musician and graffiti artist 3D. Another source credits the artist's work to resemble that of French graffiti artist called Blek le Rat. It is said that Banksy was inspired by their use of stencils, later taking this visual style and transforming it through modern political and social pieces.[190]
One of Banksy’s more ‘meaningful’ artworks, this was discovered in Fitzrovia (London) in April 2011. It features a rat with red paint on his paw and a paw print on the wall next to him. He stands under the phrase ‘If Graffiti Changed Anything It Would Be Illegal’. It appears to be a swipe at the government due to its reference to an Emma Goldman quote: ‘If voting ever changed anything, it would be illegal’. She campaigned for Women’s rights and voting, and Banksy could be highlighting the fact that each individual vote may rarely change anything. If Graffiti Changed Anything It Would Be Illegal location.
Banksy has published a "manifesto" on his website.[65] The text of the manifesto is credited as the diary entry of British Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin, DSO, which is exhibited in the Imperial War Museum. It describes how a shipment of lipstick to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp immediately after its liberation at the end of World War II helped the internees regain their humanity. However, as of 18 January 2008, Banksy's Manifesto has been replaced with Graffiti Heroes No. 03, which describes Peter Chappell's graffiti quest of the 1970s that worked to free George Davis from imprisonment.[65] By 12 August 2009 he was relying on Emo Philips' "When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised God doesn't work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness." A small number of Banksy's works can be seen in the movie Children of Men, including a stenciled image of two policemen kissing and another stencil of a child looking down a shop.[66]
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".[58] 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.[59] Banksy depicted an angel wearing a bullet-proof vest holding a skull. They also wrote a note on their website saying:
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In March, a stencilled graffiti work appeared on Thames Water tower in the middle of the Holland Park roundabout, and it was widely attributed to Banksy. It was of a child painting the tag "Take this—Society!" in bright orange. London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham spokesman, Councillor Greg Smith branded the art as vandalism, and ordered its immediate removal, which was carried out by H&F council workmen within three days.[69]
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, English graffiti artist and international prankster Banksy has managed to become one of the world's most recognized artists while remaining relatively anonymous. Staying true to the credos of street art, he's built a celebrated body of work, both permanent and impermanent, that utilizes satire, subversion, dark humor, and irony to create resonant social, political, and humanist messages for the masses on a populous and public level. His style is universally familiar, founded on a signature stencil aesthetic that has elevated him from mere man with a spray can to a highly creative artist in his own right. He is responsible for catapulting guerilla work into the mainstream as a viable form of art.
It was reported that then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Banksy a vandal whose work is not the definition of art, and that the NYPD's vandal squad was on the hunt for Banksy over his various graffiti art and installations.[114][115][116] One creation was a fiberglass sculpture of Ronald McDonald and a real person, barefoot and in ragged clothes, shining the oversized shoes of Ronald McDonald. The sculpture was unveiled in Queens but moved outside a different McDonald's around the city every day.[117][118][119] Other works included a YouTube video showing what appears to be footage of jihadist militants shooting down an animated Dumbo; travelling installations that toured the city including a slaughterhouse delivery truck full of stuffed animals and a waterfall; and a modified painting donated to a charity shop which was later sold in an online auction for $615,000.[120][121] Banksy also posted a mock-up of a New York Times op-ed attacking the design of the One World Trade Center after the Times rejected his submission.[122][123] The residency in New York concluded on 31 October 2013;[120][124] many of the pieces, though, were either vandalised, removed or stolen.[125]
Mobile Phone Lovers caused a stir when it appeared close to a boys club in Banksy’s home town of Bristol. The owner of the club removed the door with the intention of using it to raise funds for his club, but it was taken from him by the local council who claimed ownership. However the issue was resolved when Banksy himself sent a letter to the club seeming to condone his choice to use it as a fundraiser. Mobile Phone Lovers location
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Someone at a local gallery sniffed, “Why don’t they do it on canvas? That’s the place for art”. The council covered it with Perspex, which steams up so you can’t see it, but it’s left a legacy on the city. The Hull Spray Creative asked for permission to turn the whole area into a street art gallery so if you drive around the area now it’s a vibrant mass of ever-evolving graffiti art – because of Banksy.
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Banksy is without doubt the world’s most famous and celebrated graffiti artist. To some, his works of art are poignant, thought-provoking, ironic and humorous. To others, it is just plain vandalism. Whichever side of the fence you are on, there can be no doubt that he is a very talented and clever artist and conveys his views in a way that many of us could not manage to do. I have put together here a list of the best Banksy graffiti art and street art pieces, with as many as possible showing the various locations of his artworks and with Google “Street Map” views where applicable. So here goes….

In May 2009, Banksy parted company with agent Steve Lazarides and announced that Pest Control,[77] the handling service who act on his behalf, would be the only point of sale for new works. On 13 June 2009, the Banksy vs Bristol Museum show opened at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, featuring more than 100 works of art, including animatronics and installations; it is his largest exhibition yet, featuring 78 new works.[78][79] Reaction to the show was positive, with over 8,500 visitors to the show on the first weekend.[80] Over the course of the twelve weeks, the exhibition was visited over 300,000 times.[81] In September 2009, a Banksy work parodying the Royal Family was partially destroyed by Hackney Council after they served an enforcement notice for graffiti removal to the former address of the property owner. The mural had been commissioned for the 2003 Blur single "Crazy Beat" and the property owner, who had allowed it to be painted, was reported to have been in tears when she saw it was being painted over.[82] 
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