An internationally known Banksy mural of a biplane located in a Liverpool car park has been removed by culture vandals The Sincura Group, which is known for buying, exhibiting and selling Banksy street works. The company said it had taken the biplane due to redevelopment and it will be restored before it goes on show in its new home…a museum of ‘Street Art’.
The plane will be displayed alongside other Banksy works from Liverpool in an indoor gallery specialising in street art in the city’s Baltic Triangle. It is not clear whether this gallery is permanent or temporary. It is also not known if it will be free or admission charged.
The work nicknamed the Love Plane, was painted in 2011 and showed a biplane leaving a heart-shaped exhaust trail behind it. The plane has now been removed from the wall of the outdoor car park on Rumford Street however the trail heart has remained on the wall.
Sam Fishwick, a graffiti artist from Liverpool, dismissed the idea of a street art gallery. “It’s not street art anymore if it’s hung up in a museum,” he told the BBC. “It’s raw, it’s gritty, it’s on the street, it’s not meant to be there. When you go and see it in a gallery it loses its charm, it loses its character.” Other works in the new gallery, named simply The Gallery, will include Banksy’s gun-toting rat, which adorned the White Horse pub on Berry Street. It was painted for the 2004 Liverpool Biennial art festival and was removed and restored but failed to sell at auction in 2014. The gallery will also contain a smaller rat, drawn to look as if it had painted the slogan “Never liked the Beatles”. Sincura is working with developers North Property Global to open the new gallery, billed as the UK’s first street art gallery, in late 2017 or early 2018.
The biplane’s full heart is too big to extract, he explained. “The plan for the museum is to put the plane in there and replicate the heart directly in the museum.”
Asked about the irony of moving street art indoors, the developer said: “It stirs a lot of emotions but my answer to that would be – the gun-toting rat, which is one of the biggest Banksy’s ever painted, would have been lost forever. “It was badly damaged and if we hadn’t restored it, you’d have seen it in magazines and that’s it. In the museum, it would be seen by everybody and enjoyed by everybody.”
It is impossible to value this work of art as neither Banksy or Pest Control (his authentication board) will acknowledge any work which has been removed from the original site. It is also most likely valueless as they have left much of the work behind on the wall and a recreation of the heart is a strike against the works authenticity. What is Sincura doing?
Photo © Artlyst 2016