Banksy's 'Kissing Coppers' Is Latest Artwork To Be Hawked For Fortune In USA

One of Banksy's most instantly-recognisable graffiti artworks 'Kissing Coppers' has been sold in the US for $575,000 (£345,000) after being chiselled off the wall of a Brighton pub. The news that yet another chunk of painted wall has been sold for a small fortune in the States comes hot on the heels of the announcement that the artist's 'Girl With A Balloon' will soon be scraped from its North London wall to meet the same fate.

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It has been argued that street art that becomes framed and sold or placed in a gallery loses its unique appeal yet some would counter that if left exposed to the elements, Banksy's work would have a much shorter lifespan than if preserved and looked after by a collector. 'Kissing Coppers' was sprayed on to the wall of the Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street near Brighton city centre in 2004.

Although it has never been authenticated by the mysterious street artist, it has become one of Banksy's most famous street works. It was removed from the wall and flown to America in 2011 with a Perspex-encased copy left behind.


There has been a great deal of American interest in the elusive artist, who began by spraying graffiti in Bristol. Just before the Queen's Jubilee in 2012, 'Slave Labour (Bunting Boy),' which depicted a small child making bunting on a sewing machine, controversially sold for £750,000 to a US collector.

Seller Stephan Keszler claims to have sold 11 pieces by the artist over the past three years, but interestingly he couldn't shift 'Bandaged Heart' and 'Crazy Horse Car Door,' both of which were painted as part of Banksy's recent and highly-publicised New York residency. Both pieces failed to receive their minimum bids at Fine Art Auctions Miami, according to The Guardian.

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Events company Sincura Group, the company responsible for removing another of the artist's pieces and selling it for a fortune, claim that they are doing a service to the artist's work by saving and restoring rotting spray paintings and giving money from the sale to both the original owner of the wall and charity.

What do you think? Is it better for a Banksy to be left to decay on a wall or it is right to preserve, restore and sell the secretive artist's work?

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