Child labour image on wall of Poundland fuels Banksy hype
Expert insists stencil of sweatshop worker with Jubilee bunting is a genuine Banksy
GRAFFITI artist Banksy has hit London's walls again - at least that's what fans and 'street art' experts are saying. An unsigned image of a child labourer stencilled on the wall of a Poundland store in Wood Green, north London earlier this week has stirred up the sort of speculation the Bristol-born street artist is renowned for.
The BBC reports that a professor specialising in Banksy believes the image, showing a boy hunched over a sewing machine - with real Union flag bunting attached to it - "has all the hallmarks of a genuine Banksy".
Professor Paul Gough, from the University of the West of England, says the well-cut stencil and the quality of the spraying indicated Banksy's hand. Gough adds: "The bunting is a brilliant touch, short-lived but with lasting impact in the memory given this royal anniversary year."
While most graffiti is considered an eyesore and a costly nuisance, Banksy's profile, and the fact that his stencils are now valued in the tens of thousands, seems to prompt a different response.
Tim McDonnell, retail director of Poundland, told the BBC: "We are fans of Banksy and we are proud supporters of the Queen's Jubilee." McDonnell was also keen to point out the image could not possibly be a comment on Poundland itself: "Poundland has a clear defined code of conduct for all our suppliers and a strong ethical stance on all labour issues."
A Haringey council spokesperson said the graffiti was on private property, and the council has no plans to remove it. Local residents, meanwhile, told the Daily Mirror the appearance of a Banksy in the neighbourhood might actually improve property values.
Elsewhere, however, Banksy's work is not so highly regarded. This week a piece of Banksy street art was accidentally destroyed in Melbourne. A parachuting rat image on a wall in Prahran was ruined when builders smashed a hole through the wall to make way for pipes for a new cafe.