Friday, 22 February 2013


On Tuesday I posted news of the disappearance of Banksy's Boy With Sewing Machine, also called Slave Labour (CLICK). Banksy seems to have posted his own opinion of its disappearance. DANGER THIEVES (2013) has appeared next to the repaired hole in the wall (CLICK). Fine Art Auctions Miami claims that everything is legal, but is it? Firstly, Banksy donated his artwork to the community. Under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works an artist has the right to decide how his art is treated and disposed of (CLICK). Both Great Britain and the USA are signatories to the Berne Convention. In 1990 the US enacted its Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) to comply with the Berne Convention. Then we have the Artist's Resale Right in Europe, which guarantees an artist a small percentage when a work of art is resold (CLICK). I have no idea how that applies to an artwork which has been donated to a community, but I'm sure lawyers would have fun with it! In short, by smuggling Banksy's work out of the UK the anonymous "collector" has driven a coach and horses through Banksy's artistic rights. Fine Art Auctions Miami would seem to be complicit in ignoring the US VARA law. And what about naming and shaming the owner of the wall?


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