Banksy's Valentine's Day public artwork partially removed due to safety hazard

Originally published at: Banksy's Valentine's Day public artwork partially removed due to safety hazard | Boing Boing


Odd sequence of claims:

removed by council operatives on the grounds of safety as it was on public land."

It added: “We will be contacting the owner of the property to discuss the options to preserve the artwork for the district.”

“Public land” meaning “owned by the town?” Or by someone else? Or are they referring to the owner of the building, which then abuts public property? The article did not clear things up.


I took that to mean an area accessible to the public, such as an alleyway, where an open freezer could potentially become a deadly hazard. I imagine the building itself is probably privately owned.


Maybe Mr. Banksy could have seen the danger it posed and done something about it himself. Take the door off and then paint the wall.

I still don’t understand the fascination with this Bansky fellow.

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Everybody’s a critic; SSDD.


Or just weld/mount a bar inside to keep the lid open. Though it is open, so maybe they already did that.

Honestly, what kids are playing outside, crawling into old freezers any more?

I honestly like his style, his messaging, and imagery. Though he is just one of many stencil street artists, I am not sure why he is so much more famous/desired. (When I was in Italy I took a pic of an awesome stencil are of R. Lee Ermey’s character in Full Metal Jacket. I forget if it had any other context, like text to expand the meaning.)

But I guess I need to go find a history on Banksy and see how he got so popular. I know in the past in the modern art movement, who the gallery owners chose to elevate was a big part of who became a big name. But I got the sense that Banksy operated more underground than that.


the installation has been removed by council operatives on the grounds of safety

Well, that certainly sounds dramatic.

Yeah, if you missed that Punky Brewster episode, it’s on you.


But seriously…

Melbourne Tko GIF by Ideal Industries


Certainly at one time, not that long ago (circa 1980s?), this was an actual danger, as some freezers did have a heavy door with an actual latch, but I don’t think those have been around in a few decades. It’s like being concerned children might be exposed to leaded fuel. An actual danger, but one that’s not likely to be encountered much.


These kinds of deaths still happen more frequently than you’d think. The story I linked to above was a horrific but by-no-means-unique account of three children (ages 1, 4 and 6) dying in a single incident in 2019.


Perhaps the refrigerant hadn’t been removed?

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I know Margate quite well and assume a local entrepreneur would have that freezer away for scrap within hours.


Wow, ok, yeah, I sit corrected. I really didn’t think these kinds of deaths still happened. (Although thinking on it a little longer, I can see even an “easy open” fridge or freezer like I have being a long more dangerous to a child that young than I’d initially believe.)


The government action is part of the art work.


Maybe, but his art is intended to be ephemeral. Seen, photographed, talked about, a big cachet of “you had to have been there” involved. I suspect part of the art is to get people to actually pay attention to the crap lying around by transforming it.


You know, I had another thought. Banksy often incorporates what is already there into the art. Was this freezer sitting out for months, and only after he added art around it to call attention to it did it suddenly get noticed and become a hazard?

As @cannibalpeas suggested, a few large holes drilled would fix it.


An article I read (maybe in the Guardian) made it clear the freezer bit was on public (probably council-owned) land while most of the mural was on the wall of a privately-owned building.

ETA: nope, article was this one - Banksy Valentine’s Day artwork believed to be highlighting violence against women was removed within hours

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And it’s back

And it’s gone

Because… …money (integrity – sure).

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