Banksy removed from Nottingham wall and 'sold for six-figure sum'

Banksy hula-hooping girl artwork is removed from a Nottingham wall after being ‘sold for a six-figure sum’

  • Art collector John Brandler bought the mural and plans to have it restored and installed in a Bury St Edmunds museum
  • Brandler owns several of Banky’s works, including Season’s Greetings, which was purchased from a garage in Port Talbot, Wales
  • The hula-hooping girl mural appeared in October and was quickly confirmed as a Banksy by the artist himself
  • Local residents have expressed surprise and sadness at the painting’s removal 

A Banksy artwork has been removed from a wall in Nottingham after being sold to a collector.  

The image, of a girl hula hooping with a bike tyre, appeared on a wall on the corner of Rothesay Avenue in Lenton in October and was quickly confirmed as a Banksy by the artist himself.

The artwork was seen being cut from the brick wall around 05:00GMT on Wednesday.

Art collector John Brandler said he spent ‘a six-figure sum’ on the mural, telling the PA news agency that he plans to have it restored and moved to a museum in Suffolk.

Brandler said the painting had formed mould within its protective plastic casing that was later put up and that his purchasing the mural had saved it from a ‘death sentence’.  

A Banksy artwork has been removed from a wall in Nottingham after being sold to a collector. The artwork was seen being cut from the brick wall around 05:00GMT on Wednesday

The image, of a girl hula hooping with a bike tyre, appeared on a wall on the corner of Rothesay Avenue in Lenton in October, drawing crowds of visitors

‘If I hadn’t bought it and removed it, in two years’ time there wouldn’t have been a Banksy there at all,’ Brandler said.

‘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.’

Some local residents have expressed sadness at the removal of the artwork. 

Dan Golstein, a University of Nottingham student, said he was woken at around 6am on Wednesday to the sound of the Banksy piece and the wall it rests on being removed.

Lots of people have been coming to visit the mural. Pictured: Young people pose for photos in front of the new Banksy artwork 

‘In terms of how I feel as a local, I think it’s a real shame that they decided to sell,’ the 21-year-old told PA.

‘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.’ 

Asked if he had a message for residents upset by the removal, 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.’

Brandler said he is sending the artwork to Scotland for restoration and that it will be put on display at a museum in Bury St Edmunds, but could return to Nottingham in the future as part of an exhibition.  

‘This isn’t a one-way street, work with me and it would be lovely to bring the whole show back,’ he added.

The hula-hooping girl is one of several Banksy works owned by Brandler, including Season’s Greetings, which was purchased from a garage in Port Talbot, Wales. 

The BBC reported that Nottingham City Council had been unaware of plans to remove the artwork, with a spokesman telling the broadcaster that they had tried to secure the mural for the city but ‘those options were exhausted’. 

The BBC also said Surinder Kaur, who leases the building, was shocked at news of the mural’s removal. ‘I didn’t know anything about this – no one has informed me,’ she said.

The owner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said attempts to donate the artwork to local organisations had ended unsuccessfully, according to The Nottingham Post. 

Banksy posted an image of the mural on his Instagram account a few days after the image appeared in October, ending speculation as to the provenance of the graffiti

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