Removal Of Banksy Stirs Protests, Work Headed To London Gallery

November 3, 2014 | Rhett Jones

The owner of the wall on which Banksy painted his piece Art Buff has grown tired of protecting it from damage and began the process of removal on Saturday. The work, which features a woman wearing headphones and staring at an empty pedestal, is located in the rural UK town of Folkstone. It is protected by a sheet of perspex, but the barrier itself has been vandalized, most recently by someone who painted a big penis on the pedestal.

Strangely, one of the workers involved in the removal of the artwork first told Kent Online that the piece was just being turned around to face the inside of the building. When the truth came out — that the piece is on its way to a London gallery, angry protests erupted. Local art lovers reportedly went as far as attempting to rip down scaffolding being used by workers before the police were called in. No arrests were made.

A gallerist named Robin Barton will oversee the sale of Art Buff at Bankrobber, his fittingly-named London gallery. Barton says that the family of Jimmy Godden owns the wall and the family is tired of keeping the artwork safe. Godden died of cancer and a trust was subsequently set up in his name. The Godden family claims all proceeds (an estimated £300,000.00) will benefit the trust.

Unhappy residents took to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction with one tweeting directly at Bansky, “The people of Folkestone are thankful for your gift, even if we didn’t get to keep it for long!”

(Photo: Banksy)