Banksy accuses police of hindering new artwork

Oct 4 file photo of graffiti by the secretive British artist Banksy, featuring a dog and a fire hydrant. Photo / AP
Oct 4 file photo of graffiti by the secretive British artist Banksy, featuring a dog and a fire hydrant. Photo / AP

British street art superstar Banksy says police have prevented him from creating a new piece of art in New York as promised on each day of the month.

"Today's art has been cancelled due to police activity," he wrote in a blank window on his website under the heading October 23.

The same message was carried on his instagram account, which has more than 255,000 followers and which, like his website, each day announces his pop-up exhibition.

Banksy provided no other details. And a spokesman for New York Police Department had no immediate comment.

Art work by the England-based graffiti maestro, who has never been formally identified, can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars in upmarket galleries.

Cara Tabachnick, whose family owns the building, said the goal is to preserve the artwork "so it can be viewed and enjoyed." Photo / AP
Cara Tabachnick, whose family owns the building, said the goal is to preserve the artwork "so it can be viewed and enjoyed." Photo / AP

His month-long residency in New York has attracted a cult following, but has enraged the owners of defaced property and been criticised by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Graffiti does ruin people's property, and it's a sign of decay and loss of control," Bloomberg said last week.

"Some places are for arts, and some aren't."

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the owner of a building put guards on watch after Banksy painted two geishas on a bridge and it was tagged.

The artist's take on the twin towers of the World Trade Center brought down on September 11, 2001 - painted in Brooklyn Heights, was removed after less than a week.

Banksy's stencilled designs, known for their irreverent humour and political activism, have propelled him from a graffiti rebel to reluctant star.

Called "Better Out Than In" his New York show includes traditional stencil designs with installation art.

One of the highlights is a slaughterhouse delivery truck stuffed with soft toy animals, which appeared first in Manhattan's uber trendy meatpacking district.

Called "The Sirens of the Lambs," the cuddly toy pigs, sheep, chickens and cows are operated by puppeteers and also tours the city everyday until the end of October.

- AP

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