Works by Banksy damaged or destroyed

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This is a list of damaged or destroyed works of guerrilla art created by Banksy, which have been removed from their original locations or otherwise damaged or destroyed.

Removed from their original locations[edit]

  • Cave art hoax with accompanying exhibit label, hung on a wall in the British Museum, removed after two or three days and subsequently accessioned; in 2005.[1]
  • Two works jetwashed away and a third work, of a boy holding a stereo and a teddy bear, the subject of legal action opposing its ablation by Hackney Council in order "to keep streets clean", in Dalston, London; in 2009.[2]
  • Vulture with fuel pump head on side of a container at Dungeness beach, Kent stolen in early September 2010.[3]
  • Rat, stolen from an electricity meter box outside the home of a well-known underwear designer in Melbourne, claimed to be by Banksy; the authenticity of this work was questioned, with some calling it a fake; in 2010.[4]
  • "Slave Labour", a 2012 mural depicting a child making union flag bunting and regarded as a critical social commentary on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, prised from the wall of a Poundland shop in Wood Green, Haringey, North London in 'mysterious circumstances' on 13 February 2013. An attempt to sell it in the USA 10 days later, at the Fine Arts Auction Miami art house on 23 February, was halted at the last minute after Haringey residents began a campaign for its return.[8]
  • "No Ball Games", a 2009 mural depicting two children playing catch with a sign saying "No Ball Games", was removed from a wall in Tottenham, Haringey, North London in July 2013. It is planned to be restored and then sold in spring 2014. The Sincura Group, the company that had also placed the "Slave Labour" mural up for sale, stated that the mural had "not been appreciated in situ". Local residents and councilors were disappointed by its removal.[9]
  • In April 2014, "Mobile Lovers" in Bristol (painted onto plyboard) was removed by crowbar, and is currently residing in Broad Plains Boys Club. There is no evidence of legitimate ownership, and the "leader" of the group plans to sell the piece to help gather funding.
  • A mural depicting a soldier with the face of a Lego figure was detached from its original location at Schleifmühlgasse, Vienna, Austria. [10]

Concealed or defaced[edit]

  • In March 2007 one of Banksy's early pieces, a 25 ft-long artwork featuring a collection of blue shapes with the artist's trademark tag, on the side of garages in Albion Road, Easton, Bristol, was mistakenly painted over by graffiti-removal contractors Nordic. They had been asked by Bristol City Council to tackle graffiti adjacent to the Banksy work, but wrongly targeted the piece itself. Within days someone sprayed the words "Wot no Banksy?" over the contractors' plain paintwork.[11]
  • In April 2007 Banksy's famous 2002 piece depicting John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson's Pulp Fiction characters pointing bananas instead of guns, on a wall near Old Street tube station in London, was painted over by London Transport workmen despite having an estimated value of more than £300,000 at the time. Asked to comment on the mural's destruction, a Transport for London spokesman said "Our graffiti removal teams are staffed by professional cleaners not professional art critics."[12]
  • In April 2007 a four year old wall mural 25 ft long in Cato Street, Easton, Bristol, marketed for sale with its attached house (at 21 Milvart Street) thrown in for free via Red Propeller gallery and was subsequently defaced with red paint. Celebrities had previously expressed interest in buying the work, and the gallery owner contacted Banksy for permission to restore the work. Banksy however declined the offer, stating that overwriting and defacement was an inevitable reality of street art.[13]
  • In 2008 "The Little Diver" or "Diving Bell", previously protected with a perspex sheet by Melbourne City Council in Australia, incensing many street artists, was covered with silver paint poured behind the sheet and later tagged with the slogan "Banksy woz ere". The image was almost completely obliterated.[15][16]
One nation under CCTV, 2008 mural[17] removed (painted over) in 2009.
  • In April 2009 "One Nation Under CCTV", an April 2008 mural, was removed (painted over) after London's Westminster City Council had stated in October 2008 that it would remove any graffiti, regardless of the reputation of its creator, and specifically stated that Banksy "has no more right to paint graffiti than a child." Robert Davis, chairman of the council planning committee told The Times newspaper: "If we condone this then we might as well say that any kid with a spray can is producing art."[17]
  • On 22 June 2009 a piece usually described as "Naked man hanging from a window" on the side of Brook Sexual Health Clinic[18] in Park Street, Bristol, and voted for retention by 93% of the public in a 2006 council poll, spattered with blue paint in an overnight paint bomb attack.[19]
  • One of Banksy's earliest, best known and most prominent works, Mild Mild West, featuring a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail containing a bunch of flowers at police, located on the side of a building in Cheltenham Road, Bristol, was twice defaced with paint during 2009. It was cleaned up both times, but was damaged in the process; the paint used to attack it is still visible. [20]
  • Parachuting Rat, one of the last surviving example of Banksy's Melbourne street art, accidentally painted over by council contractors in March 2010,[22][23] and finally destroyed by building work in May 2012.[24]
  • In February 2011 a mural behind Westwood Village Urban Outfitters in Westwood Village, Los Angeles, depicting a child holding a machine gun loaded with coloured crayons, was defaced with black paint[25] just days before the 83rd Academy Awards for which his documentary film Exit Through The Gift Shop had been nominated. Likely committed by Mr. Brainwash to perpetuate the myth that Banksy and Shepard Fairey created.
  • In May 2011 a Banksy piece drawn in October 2010 around an extractor fan on the Grosvenor Hotel in Torquay was destroyed. It depicted a child drawing a robot. Within a week of its appearance the owners announced plans to cover it with protective perspex amid newspaper speculation that it had increased the value of the property by £150,000.[18] Vandals smashed the perspex screen on 31 May 2011 to attack the mural with paint stripper, removing the child.[26]
  • On 6 July 2010, "Gorilla with Pink Face Mask" in Fishponds Road, Eastville, Bristol, was painted over by new owners of the building[27] - by sheer coincidence on the same day that Bristol Zoo Gardens celebrated its 175th anniversary with "Wow! Gorillas", an event placing decorated life-size gorillas around the city for 10 weeks.[28]
  • In October 2011, Banksy's "Sniper" on Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol was vandalised by Graffiti artists that support King Robbo spaying Team Robbo with black spray paint.[29]
  • In 2011 a Banksy work in Boston's Chinatown was graffitied and partially painted over.
  • In August 2013 the Banksy which was defaced in 2012 depicting a child drawing a robot at the Grosvenor Hotel in Torquay was covered up by the hotel owners as an attempt to stop vandals doing more damage. In 2012 the image of the boy was damaged by vandals throwing acid on it, all that remained was the robot. The robot has now been boarded up and preserved underneath, the hotel owners claim.
  • Several other Banksy works in New York City were defaced in October 2013.[33]
  • In October 2014, an "Anti-immigration birds" mural painted over after Clacton-on-Sea's local council received a complaint, it was not then known that the work was Banksy's.[34]


  • "The New Pollution" in St Werburghs, Bristol, was knocked down in 2006 by developers in order to build a new block of flats.[35]
  • "No Loitrin" on Essex Street in Cambridge, MA; removed by sandblasting.

Better Out Than In[edit]

Main article: Better Out Than In

Most of the works that make up the Better Out Than In series, started in October 2013 in New York City, have been defaced, some just hours after the piece was unveiled.[36][37] At least one defacement was identified as done by a competing artist, OMAR NYC, who spray-painted over Banksy's red mylar balloon piece in Red Hook.[38] OMAR NYC also defaced some of Banksy's work in May 2010.[39][40]

As a result of the continued defacement, fans have been rushing to the sites of the installments as soon as they are announced.[41] A group of men took advantage of this and threatened to deface a stencil painting of a beaver in East New York, charging money for people to take photographs.[42] The continued defacement has prompted some to take matters into their own hands by guarding the works, others restoring them once defaced.[43] Property owners have also gone to some measures to protect the art, including hiring 24-hour guards and installing roll down gates that cover the art.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cave art hoax hits British Museum". BBC. 19 May 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Razaq, Rashid (5 March 2009). "Battle to stop new Bansky being destroyed". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Banksy art stolen at Dungeness". Kent Messenger. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Levy, Megan (17 June 2010). "Stolen Banksy a fake? Doubt cast on designer's missing graffiti". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Romero, Dennis (17 February 2011). "Banksy Art Worth Six Figures Ripped Down from Sunset Boulevard Billboard, Crumpled Up in a Ball". LA Weekly. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Romero, Dennis (28 February 2011). "Valuable Banksy Street Art Stolen from East Los Angeles Wall". LA Weekly. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Banksy rat destroyed by builders". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Luscombe, Richard (23 February 2013). "Sale of 'stolen' Banksy mural cancelled at 11th hour". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Banksy's No Ball Games mural removed from Tottenham wall". London: BBC. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  10. ^ 
  11. ^ "Banksy work painted over in error". BBC. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  12. ^ "Iconic Banksy image painted over". BBC. 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  13. ^ "Bansky house art destroyed". Metro. 27 April 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "Banksy destroyed". BBC. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  15. ^ Houghton, Janae (14 December 2008). "The painted painted: Melbourne loses its treasured Bansky". The Age. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  16. ^ Levy, Megan; Hunter, Thomas (28 April 2010). "Guerillas with the mist breed Banksy rats". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "Banksy art is graffiti, rules town hall". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Banksy graffiti can push up property prices". London: The Sun (United Kingdom). 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  19. ^ "Banksy mural defaced with paint". BBC. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Banksy art vandalism is 'stupid'". BBC. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Blur Banksy ruined by mistake". BBC. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  22. ^ Fitzsimmons, Hamish (30 April 2010). "Melbourne debates street art". ABC Online. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  23. ^ "Australian officials apologise over Banksy blunder". The China Post. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  24. ^ Banksy rat destroyed by builders - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  25. ^ QRomero, Dennis (19 February 2011). "Banksy Boy-With-Gun Art in Westwood Vandalized". LA Weekly. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  26. ^ "Banksy art destroyed". BBC. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  27. ^ Meadows, Dean (7 July 2011). "Banksy 'Gorilla with Pink Face Mask' painted over". Sociorobotics. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  28. ^ "Wow! Gorillas - Bristol Zoo". Bristol, Clifton & West of England Zoological Society Ltd. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  29. ^ ""Team Robbo" defaces Banksy's sniper in Bristol". Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  30. ^ "" Vandals attack Banksy" defaces Banksy's Praying Boy in Park City". Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  31. ^ Welcome To New York: Banksy's New PIece Colossally Dissed
  32. ^ Graffiti artists deface Banksy artwork on Lower East Side, get away on Citi Bikes
  33. ^ Banksy sees two more of his highly valuable street artworks vandalized in New York
  34. ^ Banksy anti-immigration birds mural in Clacton-on-Sea destroyed
  35. ^ Coles, John (23 September 2006). "Banky's 100k art wall lost". The Sun (London). Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  36. ^ "Banksy’s New York Welcome". New York Times. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  37. ^ Janeczko, Jane (15 October 2013). "Banksy Piece In Queens Defaced By Other Graffiti Artists". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  38. ^ Janeczko, Jane (8 October 2013). "Banksy Hater, OMAR NYC, Defaces Art In Red Hook". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  39. ^ Turco, Bucky. "BANKSY THOROUGHLY RAGGED". Animal New York. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  40. ^ Dobkin, Jake. "Banksy Gets Dissed". Gothamist. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  41. ^ Barron, James (15 October 2013). "Racing to See Banksy Graffiti, While It Can Still Be See". New York Times. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  42. ^ Jefferson, Cord. "These Men Are Now Charging People to Look at Banksy's Latest Stencil". Gawker. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  43. ^ Caulfield, Philip. "Banksy fans restore Williamsburg ‘geishas’ after tussle with tagger". New York Daily News. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  44. ^ "NYC building owner installs gate, hires guards to save work by elusive graffiti artist Banksy". Associated Press. Star Tribune. Retrieved 21 October 2013.