Bristol urban art register could protect endangered Banksys


Urban art in Paul Fraser Collectibles' hometown of Bristol, UK could soon come under protected status.

Local councillor Steve Comer is calling for a register to be established to protect urban art created in the city.

The move follows the recent whitewashing of local boy Banksy's Gorilla in Pink Mask from a wall in the Fishponds area of the city.

Should the idea go ahead, planning permission would be required to remove urban artworks that had been deemed valuable.

"The idea of the register is that people could consult it before they did work on a building, and have a look and see if it was of any value before they get the emulsion out," Mr Comer told the BBC.

"Public art has become an important part of our lives in Bristol and, where possible, should be protected."

Banksy murals have sold for considerable amounts in recent years, including a piece on London's Portobello Road, which made £208,100 at an online auction in 2008.

Such is Banksy's stock as a collectible artist, few councils and organisations these days pass up the opportunity to show off the new artwork adorning their walls. 

This Banksy in Bristol could soon be protected


Although this move may help establish a stable body of urban artwork for collectors to purchase, the recording and preservation of these pieces feels at odds with the fluid and often fleeting nature of graffiti and street art.

In 2007, Network Rail ordered the removal of a Banksy at London's Waterloo Station, which depicted a monkey about to blow up a bunch of bananas.

We will keep you updated with the latest developments on the urban art scene over the coming months.


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