Hammer Blow for Banksy as Graffiti Is Sold; the Londoner's Diary

Article excerpt

BAD NEWS for Banksy who doesn't want collectors to buy and sell his street art.

Bankrobber, the Notting Hill gallery, is planning a sale of six of his art works on 24 April, ranging in price from [pounds sterling]8,000 to [pounds sterling]25,000 (having just sold a Banksy work last week from Lime Street in Liverpool for [pounds sterling]250,000).

This is sure to enrage the artist who last year managed to persuade Christie's, Sotheby's and Bonhams to refuse to deal in street art. They are however alllowed to sell his prints Banksy's own agency, Pest Control, no longer authenticates street art because it wants to prevent sales of graffiti. Critics say this is just a ruse by Banksy to control his own market.

Says Robin Barton, who runs Bankrobber: "I am told his view is that art works are for the enjoyment of everyone -- not to be sold. He sees me as the greedy face of capitalism. He likes to present this Robin Hood persona but the fact is he has made tens of thousands, if not millions. …