Will Banksy’s ‘No Future’ Artwork Be Preserved? (updated)

Will the third Banksy piece on the Island be removed or survive?

Readers of the County Press will see on page 8 today that a piece of street art attributed to Banksy was recently removed by the Isle of Wight council.

keep britain tidy banksy by wooster

VB reader Tracey Hall got in touch with us to tell us the story of the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ artwork discovered in Shanklin.

After she spotted it on her way home from work one day, she got in touch with a guy called Steve who, as well as running the excellent ‘Art of the State‘ Website, is a bit of an aficionado on Banksy’s work.

Banksy wall becomes blank wall
Steve was so keen to capture the artwork that he did a 120 mile round trip to Shanklin to photograph the superb piece of public art for his Website.

Unfortunately, when he arrived, he discovered that the artwork had been painted and was met with a blank wall.

He got back in touch with Tracey and told her that according to speculation on his Website, there may have been two other Banksy artworks done around the same time.

He links to the rather excellent Wooster Collective Website which has shots of the three pieces.

Will Banksy's 'No Future' Artwork Be Preserved? (updated)

I Love You
Ventnorians will no doubt remember seeing I Love You painted in red on the High Street building next to the BT exchange.

This artwork survived perhaps two or three weeks before being painted over.

No Future
The other piece allegedly done by Banksy, possibly during his visit to the Island is a piece called No Future.

We have no idea where this is or whether it remains in tact. If you’ve seen it or know more, let us know.

Distinction between art and graffiti
Personally, we believe pieces of street art like those above should be preserved.

They are artistic observations on life and in our view, add value and interest to an area.

The Isle of Wight council justify painting over the artwork because,

“We are not art critics. We have a duty to remove unauthorized graffiti.”

Update 17.29: This statement received from the council in relation to the Banksy art pieces on the Island

Zoryna O’Donnell, Isle of Wight Council Head of Community Safety, said:

“We are not the first local authority to remove Banksy’s work from council property and I’m sure won’t be the last. As a council, we are not art critics, we have a duty to remove unauthorised graffiti, especially following complaints from residents, as was the case in Shanklin.”

“We have undertaken a number of community art projects in the past and would welcome the opportunity to work with Banksy or anyone else who can make a positive contribution to the Island’s street scene in the future.”

Phil Barton, Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, takes a more flexible approach to it saying,

“The more common ‘tagging’ is seen as offensive, blighting the environment and leading to an increased fear of crime but the more community-based art is seen in a different light.

“The problem is the so-called ‘nice’ graffiti – like Banksy’s Keep Britain Tidy image – accounts for less than one per cent of all graffiti and, of course, depending on where it is may cause significant problems for the property owner.

“Many councils now look for innovative ways of dealing with grafitti and we support this. It can be a powerful way to engage with children and young people in their local communities.”

Show some innovation
So come on Isle of Wight Council, we’re sure you have it in you to get innovative.

If the last Banksy piece hasn’t been destroyed yet, preserve it!

Blank wall image: Tracey Hall
Banksy images: © Wooster Collective

Opinion Piece

Friday, 8th October, 2010 4:14pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/wbnfa

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Art, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight Opinion Pieces

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46 Comments on "Will Banksy’s ‘No Future’ Artwork Be Preserved? (updated)"

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I cannot believe that the council have been so stoopid! I wonder if it was the same jobsworth that decided to move the coppins bridge dragon (paid for out of the publics purse) to robin hill, where we now have to pay to see it! Bet RH paid a bit of money for that sculpture as well-wonder where it went?

Mr T

Talk about a missed opportunity.

Had the pieces been removed instead of painted over they would’ve fetched hundreds of thousands of pounds.

That would’ve paid for a new lift in VB Gardens or, failing that, Steve Benyon’s salary for a couple of years.


It could of even been covered up temporally rather than being painted over. Hopefully if its been painted over with emulsion this can be removed and the image will still be intact.


Whitewashing is the Councils usual way of dealing with things though.


True that.


I expect they got rid of “no future” because it’s too close to home.


No chance! IWC consist of over-zealous jobsworths and over-paid weasels – none of ’em capable/daring to think/act progressively outside the box.

intentionally blank
never mind painting over the piece on shanklin esplanade. The whole building should be demolished. Its a shell, burnt out years ago. Perhaps the council should look at making the wall of that building a site for street art, all be it tightly controlled so little scrotes dont spray crap on it. The building cant look worse than it does now. The council should employ banksy to… Read more »

So one of the pieces was on the BT exchange, but what if something is painted onto someone’s house? Would the council remove that too? If I had a Banksy painted on my house and the council removed it I’d be royaly *@!$ed off!

intentionally blank

i dont beleive the council would have any right to paint over graffiti on a private property. However, the owner may be required to paint it out by some arcane law.

Having said that, has Banksy ever done anything on private property? I always thought he stuck to public owned property, or property owned by large companies.

If he fancies coming to paint my house hes more than welcome.


It was not on the Bt exchange but on a buildung next to it.


In more progressive town’s such as Brighton they have actually applied perspex covers over his works to protect them, and they have become part of the tourist trail. Lets hope the remaining pieces remain intact.

Another glowing display of our council’s stupidity. Well done. The money that could have been brought in from having the work proudly displayed would have been so benificial too. Now, Banksy will probably never even bother to do anymore. When I was reading through this I imagined a toff spitting out his expensive leaf tea “Progressive art!? Not on this island!” What gets me, is they allow… Read more »

I don’t care one bit for ‘we’re not art critics.’ If Picasso came to the island 150 years ago and put something on the side of a building, they’d go ‘oh it contributes to heritage…’

…of course, not that that is possible.

Wow, that little girl is a wonderful piece of art. I would love to see it; does anyone know where it is? I was surrounded by tagging where I used to live and most of it is not worth preserving. But every now and again, a tiny little gem emerges. Art invariably needs time to pass for it to be fully appreciated. It is human beings ability… Read more »

so the council say we need money to support tourism… yet they get rid of the pieces of art that would increase that exact tourism they need, where is the logic, art is not vandalism no matter where it is

Zoryna O’Donnell has stated “We are not the first local authority to remove Banksy’s work from council property” So does this mean they knew it was the work of an acclaimed artist when they removed it? If so I would class that as not only stupid but also vandalism, not to mention ant-social behaviour. If the council were to remove Banksy’s work from private property surely they… Read more »
A quote regarding a piece in Hastings… ‘Now council workers have sprayed the original artwork with a wipe-clean covering so any attempts to damage it can be easily removed.’ Maybe if we can find ‘No future’ we can do the same to stop any future attempts to damage it! ;-) The ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ would be salvageable as Brighton Council managed to salvage the ‘Kissing Coppers’ after… Read more »

Oh and Zoryna O’Donnell is right, in the past other council’s had attempted to remove his work. Although since he has become a mainstream artist that trend has reversed and most are now actively protecting the art works. Again shows how out of touch our council really is.


surely the point of Banksy is that his work delivers such a strong message, the council have said they would love to work with Banksy given the opportunity…….yes and so would every council in the country!!!!! and that’s the point… if you remove it you may never have another one again……..


Can these pieces be restored? Perhaps the council should investigate whether they can be restored as they would be a big tourist pull, especially if the third is here too. Should someone contact the council to see if they have painted over the third one to save us all looking for it?

daft old duffer

It is exactly this sort of council attitude that worries me over Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ idea.
Anyone with a smidgeon of imagination would have concluded yes,this technically graffiti,but it is rather exceptional,might be a good idea to find out what everyone thinks before sending in the painters.
Unfortunately people with imagination rarely work for councils.Or quangoes of any sort.


A lot of misinformation is spreading via Facebook! The existance of the 3rd piece on the island is speculation, based on the fact that 3 photos of Banksy work were released on the same day. Two have surfaced on the island so the third *might* be here. No one has ever said it definitely is!


Keep Britain Tidy?

You could be barking up the wrong tree there watchdog


well its very effective considering the amount of publicity its got, but what the message is is a matter of interpretation, maybe that’s the point in that it makes you ask questions


Surely the whole point about grafitti art is that it is temporary and must never have any value other than its statement at a moment in time….it may then become a poster for the masses and the middle class revolutionaries, but the original should be washed away.

The very act of a council painting over graffiti art is part of the ‘art’


So they are art critics after all :)

“G Davis Is Innocent” can still be seen in London nearly 30 years on


that wasn’t art ..that was fact…remember doing one myself on Clapham Railway bridge

As nice as those pieces are; before people get too worried about the commercial value of them, it’s worth sending the photographs to ‘Pest control’ which is Banky’s official authentication service. http://www.pestcontroloffice.com If they do valuidate them, it can be used to strengthen the argument with the council. In Clerkenwell, before a developmer demolished a wall with an excellent Banksy on it, the owners expertly removed the… Read more »
Debby Robinson

Stephen – have you used Pest Control yourself?


All three are actually posted on Banksy’s website. http://www.banksy.co.uk

Lifes a bed of @-->-->-- s
What a shame that the council think that it was necessary to paint over this art. I would like to know why the council feels they can judge whether to remove Banksys art when they create and approve some of the most ugly buildings we have on the Island. I think these beautiful and thought provoking art works that deliver important messages to the community of today….if… Read more »

Someone has put a gold frame up where the Banksy was – totally bizarre!

debby robinson

Have you got a pic?

Rowland Glaysher

Created group to try and stop this madness please join!!!!

Rowland Glaysher

created this as well…this is easier to join ……….


Everyone! Why don’t we all support Banksy to do more stencils on the island by us buying his book? I have done, so lets do this! ;D xxx

Debby Robinson

It restores faith in human nature to see so many comments on this possible act of vandalism and its ramifications.


One individuals personal expression is art, another’s is blighting the environment and leading to an increased fear of crime.
Such is the inequality of our society.

If enough people say its art then it is art?


good point… I’ve never really read much about him, but the little I do know that would make sense! I currently have some ‘art’ on the outside of my house but it definitely aint a Bansky!!! Wonder how long it’ll be there for, it had better not out stay the one on the exchange!

So did if this work is so precious to all of you, did anyone actually contact the council to point out how important the mural might be? What’s the story with the ventnor one? Ventnor blog, if you spotted it ages ago and recognised it as banksy why didn’t you say anything? So, search is on for ‘no future’. Interesting to see what will happen if it’s… Read more »
What a marvellous excuse this is for everyone to work themselves up into a frenzy and indulge in a bit of council-bashing. Personally I wouldn’t want this scrawl anywhere near where I live – there’s already enough tacky signage all over the Island, and this one happens also to embrace a built-in contradiction. What’s so special about Banksy anyway, apart from the fact that he’s done well… Read more »

rheumatic, I didn’t say that keeping Britain tidy was anti-establishment, I only said that Banksy had done well by portaying himself as anti-establishment. Besides, whether this is by Banksy or not is pure speculation. The whole episode should be treated as any other piece of grafitti, and the question asked as to whether this is an effective (and hopefully temporary) way of portraying a particular message.