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"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Thursday, 2 October 2014

An appropriate Banksy

Having removed a real and really quite good if ever so slightly too subtly ironic Banksy work from the wall of one its gents' toilets, Tendring District Council at Clacton-on-Sea in Essex has suggested it would be only too happy if the artist were to come back and give them a more appropriate work.

The offending piece was removed - (presumably scrubbed off  the wall, rather than peeled off  or carefully painted over, in light of a potential sale later?) - after complaint that it was racist graffiti.

Not surprising, really, given how sensitive the public authorities must be in the town that recently lost its Tory MP, Duncan Carswell, to  UKIP, with a by-election coming up next week.

If as seems likely the Banksy is destroyed, you must feel a bit sorry for the poor fellow from Tendring District Council who ordered its removal. That was, of course, before an "official" Banksy statement claimed the piece as genuine.

The whole thing is almost a work of art in itself. The work was a straightforward enough dig at the little Englander attitudes of UKIP and co  re immigration. It was actually quite crude in that sense - the immigrant bird was an exotic parakeet-type, the native dull grey and black pigeons.

More interesting is how the whole event reflects on the knee-jerk world of politically correct reflex actions - one knee-jerk here that has lost the local council about half a million, or much more in lost tourist revenues if the artwork had been protected.

And of course, andy this is surely the real Banksy agenda, its very sharp implied comment on the whole sick business of the art market.

BBC News version of this story here. And see some great photos of the mural and some of Banksy's other recent work on the artist's website, http://www.banksy.co.uk

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