London council paints over street artist Bansky's graffiti murals - worth millions!
Some of Banksy's previous works have fetched up to a million pounds in auction, but this piece, of which there are no photos, was deemed unsightly by the local council.
For soon after Banksy’s latest work appeared on a North London street, conscientious workers from Islington Council have obliterated it, by whitewashing the offending wall.
Cover up: A whitewashed wall now hides the latest work by street artist Banksy
The 4ft by 4ft stencil, set on a lime green background, depicted two young girls sitting at a desk with a Kalashnikov rifle, playing with bullets rather than pencils.
The elusive Banksy, with his face hidden, was spotted painting the scene towards the end of last month.
But the mural, which would have been worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, was promptly painted over with masonry paint, after residents complained.
A local trader watched the artwork take shape and chatted to the secretive artist, who jokingly denied he was Banksy and said he was there to create an ‘advertising promotion’.
A possible self-portrait of the elusive artist
The trader described the guerrilla painter, whose real identity has never been revealed, as ‘a very nice and pleasant chap’ in his 30s with a regional accent who was dressed in a green cotton army jacket and black jeans with closely-cropped mousy hair.
The trader, who did not want to be named, said Banksy told him he had painted the background colour on too thickly, and would have to wait until it dried before being able to use his stencils.
He said: ‘I saw Banksy literally watching paint dry! I told him it could be ruined soon, but he said as long as a few people saw it and enjoyed it, that was OK with him.
‘The final mural was beautiful. The council are idiots. Why don’t they concentrate on the real graffiti and leave street art for people to enjoy?’
A coveted piece of modern art: Art terrorist Banksy's paintings' are viewed by the council as graffiti
Last year, Islington Council compiled a list of works by Banksy in their area to prevent them being painted over by clean-up teams.
But one council spokesman now says: ‘It’s graffiti and we treat it that way, whether it’s Banksy or not. Residents in the houses opposite complained and we covered it up.’
Banksy’s work has been bought by stars such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. At an auction in New York earlier this year, a piece sold for ?950,000.