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Restored Banksy art and public realm


Managing Director of Hamilton Court Developments, Jonathan Ellis will be at Healthy Cities on 9th October to tell the extraordinary story of how he came to discover a 'lost' Banksy wall painting - valued for insurance at £1,25m - known as the 'Snorting Copper' in east London.

Jonathan will join our public realm panel describing the process involved in restoring the painting and why he decided to save it for Shoreditch.

Spray-painted over, hidden and forgotten by the local council, Jonathan excavated the Banksy mural ensuring it was saved for the public to enjoy. The Mayor of Hackney is now due to unveil the artwork next month at a press launch.

Banksy's art continues to be viewed by some as controversial and this has led to some of his artwork being covered up.

This work is considered to be one of Banksy's famous images and Jonathan found it painted on the wall of a toilet block of a disused site that he had bought to redevelop.

A difficult and complex operation then followed, involving the wall it was sited on, being cut out and sent to a restorer's studio in Cumbria.The artwork will now be protected behind glass at the original site and lit 24 hours a day so everyone can enjoy it.

Other works by Banksy have also been damaged or destroyed - one in Clacton-on-Sea, involving pigeons holding immigration banners, which was considered by some to be racist. However, The Guardian newspaper reported that Banksy's 'Girl with Balloon' has been voted Britain's best-loved work of art, ahead of masterpieces such as Constable's 'The Hay Wain'.

We are delighted to further the debate about what constitutes art and which works should be saved or placed in our public realm at our forum in October. The same evening the BBC will be running a documentary on the discovery of the Snorting Copper.

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