Three iconic pieces of Banksy’s earliest work will disappear as a nightclub in Glasgow plagued by financial problems will not restore the art.
In March 2002, Banksy painted three murals at The Arches during an exhibition. These pieces were some of his first public displays, before he (or they) became the world-renowned street artist we know him to be today.
The three pieces include a monkey holding a gun painted outside the club’s rear entrance, a monkey holding a gun and wearing a tutu painted inside the club and a Mona Lisa sitting behind a picture frame.
The Arches previously had hoped to remove the pieces so they could be sold. Now the company that ran the club, the Arches Theatre Company, has gone into liquidation. It’s unclear what the Banksy murals are currently worth.
Derek Forsyth of Campbell Dallas, Joint Administrator of Arches Theatre, released a statement outlining why the murals will not be restored.
“Whilst exhaustive efforts were made to establish whether any value may be achievable for the benefit of the creditors, these were hampered by the fact that there was no certificate of authenticity for the artwork, that the artwork had in fact been heavily painted over, and that the wall on which the artwork had been created formed part of the building which The Arches did not own. In all of these circumstances, it would have been a very costly exercise to remove and restore a piece of artwork for which there was no certain value.
Back in February 2014, a 17-year-old male died at the nightclub, which prompted the city council to enforce a midnight curfew. This subsequently lead to The Arches downfall.
View photos of the early Banksy works via the gallery above.
Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here