The mural, a 30-foot tall painting of a rat holding a machine gun,
will disappear after the businessman bought the former Liverpool pub it
adorns and promised to paint over it.
The Grade 2 listed Georgian property was adorned by artwork from the Bristol-born graffiti giant Banksy, as part of Liverpool’s Biennial art festival in 2004.
But after purchasing the artwork at auction on Thursday for £114,000, property developer Billy Palmer, 44, admitted he has no interest in preserving the painting, despite protests from art lovers.
“I’m not a fan of modern art, I can’t say I know much about it really,” he said after the auction at Liverpool’s Marriott Hotel.
“All I was concerned about was getting this great building for a good price, I’m going to turn it into luxury flats.
“I might leave the Banksy on the wall until last, just to see how it looks, but it will have to go to get the look I want.”
As an official commission, the work is a rarity for Banksy.
He has stopped authenticating his work to prevent dealers from cashing-in on his now global fame.
It’s been interesting to see how the series of events have unfolded over the years regarding this piece. From creating value for the run down pub at one stage to being a neglected piece today. At present the decision to have it removed has been met with mixed views and actions, on one hand; the art goers have a pro-banksy stance on supporting the preservation of the Banksy piece, on the other hand, the property developers simply sees this as a great opportunity to restore a Georgian building to it’s former glory. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything about this building, It’ll be interesting to see how this will play out over the next months.
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