#BanksyNY 14: Gladiator Quote in Queens

October 14, 2013 | Andy Cush

As originally reported on Gothamistwhat appears to be a new Banksy has popped up in Queens. Heidi Trenholm, 24, was walking through near the Woodside-Elmhurst border when she “saw a man wearing construction gear loading something into a rental truck,” then noticed the piece, partially obscured by a blue tarp on the wall.

UPDATE: Banksy has confirmed the piece on his site with the following quote:

Some people criticize me for using sources that are a bit low brow (this quote is from ‘Gladiator’) but you know what? “I’m just going to use that hostility to make me stronger, not weaker” as Kelly Rowland said on the X Factor.

We reached out to Heidi for the exact location. It’s on the 38th Avenue right off of 69th Street, near the 69th Street 7 train stop.

UPDATE II: The piece has already been vandalized. “I got there at 8:30pm. Everyone was real chill taking pictures in front of it being real respectful,” says Brooklyn chef Joseph Brancaccio to ANIMAL. “This dude just sneaks in with black hoodie with paint can of paint and a brush.” He painted “Problem Child NYC” and crossed out the “Eternity” part of the Gladiator saying Banksy had written earlier that morning, reportedly with an oil stick.

He also wrote “Banksy x Berdo.” According to ANIMAL’s expert Banksy spotter, Krystyna Printup, this is him and his Instagram, and Problem Child is the name of some crappy clothing brand, making this more of a horrific PR stunt than anything else.

Here’s the video that Brancaccio shot:

The restaurateur tells us that the there was “about 20 people” standing around and although the crowd was pissed and calling him “dick” and other curses, they just took his photo. “No one stopped him, but everyone was surrounding him. He walked in and out and no one touched him.”

UPDATE 3: Another tipster sent in a photo showing the aftermath. It has been further “defiled.“:

The paint was still wet when our photographer, Yossera Bouchita, got to the scene at around 10:15AM.

“I kind of couldn’t believe it when I saw it,” Trenholm told ANIMAL. “I thought it was pretty cool. It was a wall that was covered with some ugly graffiti. I hope it stays the way it is.”

The piece, which shows a stenciled man trying to buff some writing on the wall, reads “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” It’s taken from the film Gladiator. 

(Photos:  Yossera Bouchita/ANIMALNewYork)