Alternative walking tours > tour blog > street art larceny

So after all the furore of the ‘will they or won’t they’, the auction of the stolen Banksy was finally prevented. But what realistically is the next move? What are they gonna do – bring it back and slap it back up there?

The notion that it belongs to the community is an interesting one. Why does it belong to them? Does it belong to anyone? You may argue the owner of the sainted wall is the owner. Controversial? I’m not so sure.

There is a thought that it’s only once something is removed people start to take notice of it. And certainly ‘the wall’ has been receiving pilgrimages from locals that may otherwise have scurried past in their hunt for the bargains that lie inside this most decorated of Poundlands.

street art, Insider London, walking tours, Banksy, Poundland

“Is that a Banksy?” asks the woman.

No madam, it most certainly is not. But many other artists have certainly sought to fill the gap. And make comment.

street art, Insider London, walking tours, Banksy, Poundland

The most frequently misunderstood, or rather, mis-attributed, was the ‘Why?’ stencil, for a while believed to have been a Banksy. That it so clearly wasn’t got me thinking. To whit, I decided to carry out an experiment.

Round the corner from the ex-Banksy is a piece by Shepard Fairey, commissioned as part of Haringay Council’s regeneration programme last year.

street art, walking tours, Banksy, Poundland, Shepard Fairey

Envision Peace? I envisioned a quarter of million quid and quickly lined up a buyer for Fairey’s work. All I needed to do was get the thing down, and hey presto, I’d be rich, counting my money, watching the fall out. Would the good burghers of Haringay react with the same dismay and high dudgeon that greeted the departure of their Banksy?

Under the cloak of night I went about my work, chisel, hammer and trowel in hand.

Alas, dear readers, I was rumbled. Clever council that they are, Fairey’s eye is being used as a vast monitoring tool, a huge CCTV device! Cripes! Look closely, you can probably make out the blinks of the camera shutter.

street art, walking tours, Banksy, Poundland, Shepard Fairey

Andre the Giant you betray me!

What choice did I have but to obey? As things to do in London go, stealing a vast piece of street art was, I admit, a pretty bone-headed thing to do. I rang my buyer in Skegness to tell her the deal was off and I am now currently residing in a police cell in Tottenham, tapping out these few words to you loyal Insider London readers.

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