Double blow for Banksy’s creations in Islington
PUBLISHED: 11:12 05 June 2012
An iconic Bansky artwork and a risqué mural attributed to the cult street-artist – which made an explicit feature of an overgrown bush – have both been erased by Islington Council.
Council staff wiped away the famous A1 Road to Anywhere artwork in Highgate Hill, Archway, last week after a resident complained it was an eyesore.
A cheeky mural depicting two legs either side of foliage hanging over a wall in Canonbury Square, Canonbury – making it appear like a half-naked woman – was also painted out.
The image had caused much amusement as it spread across social networking websites after it appeared in recent weeks.
A resident said: “It put a real smile on my face as I walked home; it was simple, cheeky and a teeny bit offensive.
“Seeing other people’s surprised chuckles upon first stumbling across it was great.
“It’s a shame it’s gone. Islington is full of creative types and it showed off our borough’s character.”
It is believed to be the work of Banksy after photos were posted on the elusive artist’s website.
A1 Road to Anywhere, which depicted Charles Manson in a prison suit hitching a ride, had been repeatedly damaged in a graffiti war, allegedly by Banksy’s rival King Robbo or one of his supporters.
Tim Woolgar, 40, who works at Islington Boxing Club in Hazelville Road, Hornsey Rise, said: “Road To Anywhere was regarded by aficionados as one of Banksy’s most important works, so to see it destroyed is really disappointing.
“To have such talented people acting in such a destructive way seems counter-productive.”
Artist Caroline Jones, who staged a Lost in Holloway exhibition in April, said: “This stencil technique is the best type of graffiti. It is a real shame.”
Since November the sketching has been barely visible after being covered in white paint.
Hak Huseyin, Archway town centre manager, said: “It is disappointing because people travel the length and breadth of the country to see his work. Having a Banksy in Archway was fantastic.”
Islington Council’s executive member for environment Cllr Paul Smith said most residents want Banksy creations preserved.
“We don’t have an official policy, but respond with every case individually restoring several when they have been tagged,” he added.
“The latest damage to the Banksy work made it impossible to restore.
“It is now an eyesore and we agreed with a resident that it should be removed.
“Sadly, as Banksy himself acknowledges, if someone is intent on permanently defacing his work, there isn’t much anyone can do.”
A new Banksy wall drawing appeared in Turnpike Lane earlier this month. It features a child making Diamond Jubilee Union Jack party bunting.
One of Banksy’s most famous works in Essex Road, Islington, featuring three children raising a Tesco plastic bag on a flag pole, suffered repeated vandalism until the council protected it with plastic.