Guerilla artist Banksy has broken his long-running silence to slam critics
of his giant West End mural, which was earmarked for removal last week.
In a statement to Time magazine in New York, Banksy said he was offended by
Westminster Council's suggestion his 27ft-high 'One Nation Under CCTV' mural was an
"Advertising makes people feel inadequate and worthless," he said. "Graffiti doesn't do that. Graffiti doesn't emotionally blackmail you, graffiti doesn't make you feel fat and graffiti doesn't make you rush out and buy things - except maybe high-strength cleaning products."
The removal of Banksy's mural was revealed by www.londoninformer.co.uk , sparking a media storm over artistic taste, which has raged since.
The work may still win a reprieve if the apparent owners of the Newman Street wall, Searchgrade Ltd, win an appeal.
Cllr David Boothroyd, who sits on the council's planning committee, said: "I'm puzzled as to why this is before the council. It hasn't caused any damage, it's not offensive and actually livens up a very dull wall."
There is a dispute about the ownership of the wall with Royal Mail, which owns a major depot opposite the wall, claiming the wall is its property as it is sited in a company car park. Searchgrade also claims the wall, no doubt aware of the possible windfall of selling a Banksy.
Details have emerged of how the cheeky artist managed to paint the vast mural undetected. It is believed he contacted Royal Mail to ask for access to its car park to carry out maintenance on the wall at the start of the year. A team of supposed builders arrived with scaffolding and covered the wall
for a night. The mural was discovered the next morning.