Banksy's Latest Mural Lasted 3 Days Untouched

Then vandals struck the London piece
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2024 1:13 PM CDT
Updated Mar 21, 2024 7:17 AM CDT
Banksy Confirms Mural Near Bare Tree Is His
People look at a new Banksy painting on a wall in London on Monday.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
UPDATE Mar 21, 2024 7:17 AM CDT

A new Banksy mural in north London is harder to steal than some of his work—but it turned out to be too easy to vandalize. The mural, featuring green paint on the wall of a four-story building behind a severely pruned cherry tree, went up Sunday and had been defaced with streaks of white paint by Wednesday, NPR reports. Banksy confirmed the mural was his work with his first Instagram post of the year. The owner of the building, which is currently vacant and up for rent, says he plans to leave the mural there. The local council said it is installing a CCTV camera and talking to the owner about ways "to enable everyone to enjoy the artwork while protecting it, the tree, and the surrounding area," AFP reports.

Mar 18, 2024 1:13 PM CDT

A new Banksy mural drew crowds to a London street on Monday, even before the elusive graffiti artist confirmed that the work was his. The artwork in the Finsbury Park neighborhood covers the wall of a four-story building and shows a small figure holding a pressure hose beside a large cherry tree. Green paint has been sprayed across the wall, replicating the absent leaves of the tree, which has been severely cropped. Banksy claimed the work by posting before and after photos of the location on his official Instagram account, per the AP. The new attraction drew a stream of onlookers who took photos and snapped selfies. Many discerned an environmental message in the vibrant green artwork, which appeared on Sunday—St. Patrick's Day.

"The tree looks very sad without branches and without greenery," said Pura Lawler, on her way to a gym class. She felt Banksy was saying something about "destroying the forests, destroying the greenery." Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who represents the area in Parliament, said the work "makes people stop and think, 'Hang on. We live in one world. We live in one environment. It is vulnerable and on the cusp of serious damage being done to it.'" "Environmental politics is about densely populated urban areas like this, just as much as it is about farmland and woodland and hedges," he added.

story continues below

Banksy, who has never confirmed his full identity, has become one of the world's best-known artists. His work has sold for millions of dollars at auction, and past murals on outdoor sites have often been stolen or removed by building owners soon after going up. The latest work would be harder to take down, as the piece relies on the tree for its impact. "It's good to see it before it gets vandalized," said Geoff Gardner, who stopped by on his way to work. Alex Georgiou, whose company owns the building, said, "It's quite mad, to be honest, to come down here and just to see all the crowds of people looking at the building." He added, "I definitely plan on keeping it on there and letting people enjoy it. Everyone's loving it, which is great."

(More Banksy stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.