Banksy vs Bristol Museum


The Banksy Art exhibition in Bristol has now closed, having seen an extraordinary 350,000 people walk through the doors to see the guerrilla artist's handiwork.

At the start, Banksy had commented that this was the first time that taxpayer's money had been used to put his pictures up rather than scrape them off the wall.

(Indeed there are reports today that Hackney council has painted over one of his works in error.)

In this case graffiti didn't make up the central works.

There were various animatronics: a riot policeman contentedly rocking on rocking horse, chicken nuggets eating barbeque sauce from a dippable packet and a made-up rabbit filing its nails in front of a mirror to name but a few.

There were also paintings of which by far the most spectacular was an enormous painting of the House of Commons, showing all the MPs as chimps.

Other paintings mixed in with the Museum's main collection: a husband and wife pair of Gainsboroughs was separated to allow the wife to be temporarily replaced by a woman wearing a lingerie-fronted apron over a full veil.

Static installations included a burnt-out ice-cream van with the ice-cream logically melted out of the giant cone on top, and the drunken, suicidal Ronald McDonald perched on the outside of the building.

Banksy is highly collectible, fetching large figures at auction (though a little lower in this economic climate, as we reported) with pieces collected by celebrities such as Brad Pitt. 

It's clear that the exhibition could have had far more than 350,000 attendees.

It's estimated another 650,000 people were unlucky due to the limited opening hours and 24 hour queues.

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