The case of Westminster council versus Banksy raises an interesting legal precedent. Normally permission to paint a wall is only required from a local authority if the building is of listed historic value or the painting is commercial in nature, but
now artistic judgement appears to come into it.
Westminster council first sought to remove Banksy's painting One nation under CCTV on Newman street in central London on the grounds it was an unlicensed commercial.
The owner of the
property itself is apparently happy for the painting to remain in place so Westminster council has now sought consultation with local residents in order to prove the painting is having a detrimental affect on the area.
Referring to the adjacent
Post Office building who have sought the paintings removal since it first appeared Banksy said I don't know what next door is complaining about — their building is so ugly the 'No Trespassing' sign reads like an insult.
All of which leaves
the possibility for what is believed to be the first recorded use of the 2003 Anti-social Behaviour act which for the first time gives councils the ability to enter private premises and force the removal of graffiti. A measure introduced by David
Blunkett and which Banksy attacked at the time in a series of paintings and statements.
The valuable Banksy street stencilled wall mural on the side of a London Post Office, which had become a tourist attraction in itself, has been censored. Presumably this was on the orders of some apparatchik at the Westminster Council or the Post Office,
in spite of the fact that such Banksy stencil wall murals are worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Incredibly, Westminster Council have installed a WiFi connected CCTV camera overlooking the site, should anyone have thoughts of art restoration.