The Bristol University Law School wants to get conversational on Banksy’s street art. The academics have decided, based on the work’s local popularity, international hype, documented presentational efforts and angry hoopla whenever a stencil gets accidentally whitewashed, it all “should be considered part of Britain’s heritage and given legal protection.”
The city government already wants to create a public art register and require official “permission to alter street artworks,” but behooving Banksy with heritage status and pushing legislature protecting the superstar’s wall autographs is a whole new step:
It can be argued that his work, due to its political and social statements, carries a cultural significance in modern society. The public has indicated that this needs to be kept and by extension, preserved. An application for listing is one of these methods. The effect of Listing would also ensure that the work could be preserved for future generations and grants could be applied for to preserve the work.
Presumably, as someone is sent to tend to Banksy’s stencils, the Bristol City Council will continue to spend over $165,000 a year on whitewashing graffiti without “national cultural interest.”
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