Hotel Encourages Theft

Banksy is a British street artist, famous for his satirical graffiti art. He has been known to sneak his art into into famous galleries to hang alongside more traditional curated art. In 2007 thieves removed a section of a wall with an angle grinder because Banksy had stencilled around the ‘No Ball Games’ sign on it. The wall was later found on ebay for sale for 20,000 pounds. 

In a clever twist The Art Series Hotel is running a unique competition where guests are invited to steal Banksy prints worth AUD 15,000 each.  The two key conditions are you must be a guest at the hotel and you must remove the piece undetected. If you are discovered then the art is returned to the wall for another guest to try their hands. Clues to the art’s whereabouts are being posted on Facebook and Twitter. 


One down, one to go 
The first piece “No Ball Games” was stolen just four days after being hung with a straight forward ploy. Pretending to be from one of the Art Series Hotel agencies moving the pieced to another property the theft walked out in broad daylight. But the game is not over as another Banksy piece “Pulp Fiction” is now in it’s place. The competition runs until the 15th of January 2012, hopefully the second piece takes longer to steal! 

Banksy prints ready to be stolen
Left: No Ball Games, Right: Pulp Fiction

The Art Series Hotels are located in Australia’s cultural capital Melbourne. The chain’s three properties – The Cullen, The Olsen and The Blackman are inspired by Australia’s artistic’s greats and the hotel walls are adorned with original art and prints. 

The art world has always been intertwined with scandal – from theft to forgeries. The “stay the night, steal the art” competition is engaging and intriguing, embracing the spirit of both Banksy and The Art Series Hotels. 


Would you try to steal the remaining Banksy print? 



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