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Banksy artwork 'should be listed'

24th August 2011

Works created by the urban artist Banksy should be given better protection to prevent them from being defaced or even painted over, it has been claimed.

According to new research carried out by experts from Bristol University, the public's affection for the elusive artist's work is so great that people would back plans for his creations to be given listed status.

It follows an incident in Eastville, Bristol, in July this year when a Banksy painting of a gorilla wearing a pink mask was mistakenly painted over by an anti-graffiti taskforce.

Bristol University postgraduate John Webster said there is a strong argument for granting Banksy's work listed status to prevent something similar from happening again.

'The public has indicated that this needs to be kept and, by extension, preserved, and an application for listing is one of these methods,' he added.

Mr Webster called for legislation regarding the definition of graffiti and local councils' authority to eliminate it to be clarified to protect genuine works of art.

He also pointed to the recent Grade II listing of the Abbey Road zebra crossing in London as an example of English Heritage being able to recognise and preserve a part of the urban landscape that has artistic and cultural significance.

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