Art Series Hotel guests fail to steal the Banksy artwork ‘Pulp Fiction’, on offer to those who escaped with the work uncaught: now the work is to be donated to Crime Stoppers
Since the summer, Art Series Hotels in Melbourne have been offering its guests the chance to try and steal a work of internationally-celebrated street artist Banksy: if they successfully pulled it off, then they would get to keep the work; but, if they got caught, they would have to put it back on the wall.
The first work to be exhibited as part of the publicity stunt – ‘No Ball Games’ – was cleverly stolen, with hotel staff left unsure as to how it disappeared. But the seconf work on offer – ‘Pulp Fiction’, valued at over $4,000 – remains proudly on the hotel wall, with hotel guests failing to pull off the heist.
And this is not through lack of trying, with even tennis super star Serena Williams recently giving it a go! Attempts, beside the odd hit-and-run efforts, include:
a) Re-wiring the internal security cameras so that the would-be thieves would not be spotted
b) Distracting security with tall-tales of broken room furniture and fittings
c) Scantily clad women distracting staff
d) A man with a tall broom attempted to unhinge the painting and run away
e) Some imposters pretending they were hotel staff
f) Another Imposter pretending he was a tradesman (complete with a ladder)
g) two people who Twittered their every move
But all to no avail, with the GPS device attached to the art demonstrating that it never left the three hotels except when securely transported by staff.
Now the Art Series Hotels are to donate the work to Crime Stoppers, in a bid to signal that this stunt was in the name of fun, and not an endorsement of art theft.
Crime Stoppers are delighted, with the CEO Peter Sprott saying: ‘We want people to report crime when they see it, as we can’t assume that all criminals will be as inept as the people who tried to steal this ‘Pulp Fiction’ piece. We will be auctioning off this work of art with the much needed proceeds going to the prevention and reporting of crime.’
Will Deague, CEO of Art Series Hotel said: ‘Although it’s been a wonderful exercise for the hotel group, our night staff in particular are glad the Banksy has gone. Thanks to everyone who’s stayed with us over summer, and for the brave souls who had a crack at stealing the art. We sincerely wish Crime Stoppers well and hope they raise significant funds with this piece of art.’
Follow ArtLyst on Twitter for breaking art news and latest exhibition reviews