Banksy mural saved from ‘death sentence’ by art collector
Written by Hitmix News on 18 February 2021
A Banksy mural was saved from a “death sentence” when it was removed from a wall by an art collector.
John Brandler, who owns Brandler Galleries in Essex, spent a six-figure sum to purchase the artwork, which was discovered in a student part of Nottingham last October.
The piece – which showed a girl hula-hooping with a bicycle tyre – was removed on Wednesday morning.
Image: The Banksy was removed on Wednesday morning. Pic: PA/@Dangolstein
Mould had started to form within the mural’s plastic casing, and Mr Brandler has plans to restore it before moving the artwork to a museum.
He said: “If I hadn’t bought it and removed it, in two years’ time there wouldn’t have been a Banksy there at all.
“I appreciate the council were trying to protect it from vandals coming along but actually it was creating a death sentence for it.
“I am pleased I’ve been able to save it from destruction.”
The mural will be sent to Scotland to be restored – at a cost of thousands of pounds, according to Mr Brandler – before it gets put on display in Bury St Edmunds.
The art collector did hint the piece might be able to return to Nottingham in the future, however.
“This isn’t a one-way street, work with me and it would be lovely to bring the whole show back,” he added.
Asked if he had heard from residents, Mr Brandler said: “Somebody told me it belongs to the people of Nottingham – no, it belonged to the person whose wall it was on.
“From what I hear they offered it to a number of organisations in Nottingham and nobody was interested.
“It’s very easy to say ‘we must keep it’ – all right, you pay for it, you pay for the maintenance, the security, the insurance, the restoration.”
Image: Mr Brandler has purchased other pieces by Banksy, including one in Port Talbot. Pic: @poblgroup
Among Mr Brandler’s collection are other works by Banksy, including Season’s Greeting from Port Talbot, Wales.
Dan Golstein, a student at the University of Nottingham who lives near where the mural used to be, was woken up at 6am by people removing the Banksy.
He said: “In terms of how I feel as a local, I think it’s a real shame that they decided to sell.
“I understand why, but ultimately it was a treasure to the community and it’s sad that now what is left is wooden board and debris.
“It was installed at a really difficult time for Lenton residents due to high COVID rates, and it brought a lot of life.”