Even a blank wall isn't safe from the aesthetes at Westminster Council it seems after the Town Hall ordered a seven metre Banksy mural to be removed.
The Newman Street daubing, which shows a child on a step ladder painting the words 'One Nation Under CCTV', finally fell under the all-seeing eye of council planners who last night decided it was an eyesore.
Cllr Robert Davis, deputy leader of the council and chairman of the planning sub committee, said: "I take the view that this is graffiti and if you condone this then what is the difference between this and all the other graffiti you see scrawled across the city? If you condone this then you condone graffiti all over London."
Banksy fans will be dismayed by the decision as may the owners of the grey wall, who could be in for a windfall if they can preserve the mural. A shop owner in Portobello Road sold a smaller piece by the guerilla artists for more than £200,000.
The council is now working to establish who owns and is responsible for the wall and will then ask the owner to remove it. It says there are ways to remove these kinds of murals without destroying them so they can the be displayed in an appropriate location.