The art critics at the New York Police Department have spoken: the final work of Banksy’s Better Out Than In NYC residency, a set of balloons affixed to a Long Island City warehouse, is not art. Legally speaking, anyway.

NYPD officers confiscated the piece after a group of young men removed it from its place on the wall last week, and the department has been holding it in its property clerk division since. When I contacted the department the day after the piece was confiscated, a representative was brusque, saying the work would be held as evidence but offering no indication of any other plans for it.


Now, the New York Times  has a more detailed report. The NYPD labeled the work only as “balloons,” on its evidence invoice, not as potentially valuable “art.” If they are eventually deemed valuable, the letters can be auctioned off; if not, they will be destroyed. The latter fate seems likely.

“The item description is never changed,” Deputy Chief Jack J. Trabitz of the property clerk division told the Times. “You can’t redescribe it. It’s a balloon.”

(Photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)