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Why Do People Keep Defacing Banksy’s Work in New York ?

Yes, we understand the immense irony of that question.

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This morning, Banksy posted three new images to his Instagram and website as part of his month-long romp around New York City. They haven’t even been up that long, and apparently one of them has already been whitewashed. What gives?

The original images. But as this Instagram user notes, the image at the Bushwick location — namely between Stanwix and Renaissance Court — has already been buffed away.

This, combined with the sudden demise of his Day One image in Chinatown, has us thinking that this concentrated effort against the infamous street artist’s work might be more malicious than we’d initially suspected.

Of course you could make the argument that, as street art that’s technically illegal, these images were in danger of getting whitewashed anyway. Here’s the thing, though — Banksy describes the three images today as “random graffiti given a Broadway makeover,” so that means that there was already graffiti there to begin with. So it’s odd that a city cleaner would choose the hour after the images were unveiled to whitewash the whole thing.

What seems a little more likely (though definitely more ridiculous, we’ll admit) it’s an individual person with a beef against Banksy looking to undo his efforts. Given the amount of local artists who’ve also been tagging Banksy’s work this past week, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. And it’s not as if the world of Street Art didn’t have its fair share of petty battles between artists. Banksy even provoked one between himself and another artist, Robbo, a few years back.

Of course, not everyone is against what Banksy’s been putting up — the guy who owns the building where the Williamsburg image is located (it says “Dirty Underwear: The Musical”) is reportedly looking into encasing the piece in plexiglass to preserve it. Seriously, imagine the money that store’s going to make now just from the people who’ll show up to look at it.


(via Gothamist, image via Banksy)

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