Cooper Union Students Alter Banksy’s “Concrete Confessional”

October 14, 2013 | Andy Cush

The tradition of vandalizing Banksy’s art quickly after it goes up continues and the street piece he revealed on Saturday, depicting a forlorn-looking priest, has already been modified. The work, dubbed “Concrete Confessional,” was situated close to Cooper Union in the East Village, and was updtaed over the weekend to reflect that school’s current financial situation.

The protest group Students for a Free Cooper Union explains in a statement.

“Cooper Confessional” depicts Cooper Union’s overpaid and visionless President, Jamshed Bharucha, as he confesses his transgression from a historically merit-based full scholarship model, to an expansionist tuition agenda. Hearing Bharucha’s lament is Peter Cooper, who founded the Cooper Union in 1859 and established the mission of the institution as necessarily providing free education to all admitted students while educating against the evils of debt.

The priest got a big white beard to make him resemble the prodigously fuzzy Peter Cooper, and the stencil of a confessing Jamshed Bharucha was added next to him. Cooper Union students are taking credit for the Banksy-parodying “Free Cooper: The Musical!” graffiti and the fake Shepard Fairey around the corner as well.

In other Banksy-defacement news, as was bound to happen, someone has wrecked the big “Wikileaks” piece on the Lower East Side, stealing the car’s stenciled rear door.

(Top and bottom photos: Justin McWilliams, PAY photo: Students for a Free Cooper Union)