CCTV images reveal series of attacks on boy blowing bubbles
Now the ‘Banksy landlord’ raises his asking price to £250,000 for Jeffrey’s Street artwork
Published: September 1, 2011
by PAVAN AMARA
THESE exclusive CCTV pictures reveal how not everybody stops to admire Banksy’s latest work in Camden Town.
Footage shown to the New Journal shows how Banksy’s picture of a boy blowing bubbles, on the side of a house in Jeffrey’s Street, has been defaced with rude messages and had garden furniture hurled at it.
The recordings, taken from a camera installed above the artwork, which is protected by a Perspex screen, also reveal passers-by attempting to hang from it.
Banksy’s stencil is meant to be a nod to Tox, the prolific “tagger” whose mark was known all over London’s transport network.
The man said to be behind that work was jailed last month.
The landlord of the house, who the New Journal last week revealed is willing to sell the piece, is now considering ramping up security with night vision filming.
“At about 5.20am on Thursday morning we had a crude message appear,” said Rob Skipper, a tenant who has lived in the house for more than 25 years.
“Then it got miraculously cleaned off. No body knows who did it, or who cleaned it, so it’s a bit of a mystery. We’re going to have to get night vision for the CCTV because we caught the culprits but the images are grainy.”
He added: “As tenants, we can see everything that happens via the CCTV monitor, and I don’t think people realise they’re being watched.
“A lot of people think it’s a dummy camera, so it’s very entertaining to watch it all back.
“We saw a guy trying to unscrew the Perspex screen, and then when a police car went by he was convinced they were after him and ran off.
“We left a garden chair out in the front garden, and someone threw it at the Banksy.
“Someone then tried to nick the chair.
“Last but not least we’ve had people actually trying to hang off it. ”
Bhupen Raja, 57, who owns the house, said his life had become a “headache” due to the vandals.
He added: “Even when we were putting up the Perspex there were kids who were hanging about saying ‘We’re going to ruin this’ – for no good reason at all.”
Mr Raja, who said last week he wished to sell the Banksy piece for £4,000, has now changed his mind.
“I was watching a programme on Channel 4,” he said. “They were selling art, and I suddenly realised I was selling it for far too little.
“Now, I may sell it if you offered me £250,000.
“OK, then I would sell it. But £4,000, oh no, not any more.”