A mural by Banksy, which was used as the cover of Blur’s 2003 single ‘Crazy Beat’, has been partially painted over by mistake. Workmen from Hackney Council began covering the artwork, on the side of a building in Stoke Newington in London, with black paint and had removed much of the work before the building’s owner, Sofie Attrill, could convince them to stop.
Attrill told the BBC: “The workmen were smiling as they did it – they thought it was funny. I just burst into tears. But a crowd gathered and we managed to get them to stop before destroying it completely. I don’t care about art or politics – I am just an ordinary girl who liked being cheered up by seeing this on my street”.
She continued: “People have always been telling us to sell it or cover it in Perspex, but we only wanted it to be here for the public’s enjoyment. You can’t take a photo if it’s behind a thick plastic screen. We never wanted to make money out of it like many do – but it was a part of our lives. Now it’s gone. People are always doing down Hackney but this was something we could all be proud of”.
Hackney Council’s Alan Laing initially said in a statement: “The council’s position is not to make a judgement call on whether graffiti is art”, although he later added: “Due to a problem at the land registry, unfortunately our letters stating our intention to clean this building didn’t reach the owner. As soon as we realised this, work stopped. We are now speaking with her about how to resolve the issue”.
I have some pictures of it on my phone, if that helps (that’s one of them just up there).