Child labour image on wall of Poundland fuels Banksy hype

May 17, 2012

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.

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This is a catch 22 situation.  Most people do not want to support child labour/slave labour, however with the austerity measures of Cameron and Osborne taking money out of peoples pockets and puttingit into the already greedy rich, people are finding it hard to make ends meet and to keep their children clothed they have to frequent these shops such as Premark etc. even though they would prefer to buy British. 

I am sure this image should have been on Primark, not Poundland.