New Banksy Work in NYC Vandalized, Erased Right Away

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Photo: Juan Melano

Millionaire British recluse Banksy is back in New York City with a new show, "Better Out Than In," taking place entirely on the street. The art, as expected, has already been messed with. "Before you, you will see a 'spray art' by the artist Ban-sky," announces the show's satirical audio guide, accessible online or via phone at 1-800-656-4271, over elevator music. "Or maybe not — it's probably been painted over by now." Good guess.

First, actually, the "Graffiti Is a Crime" sign that completes the piece, which appeared yesterday at 18 Allen Street between the Lowest East Side and Chinatown, was snatched altogether, as noticed by Juan Melano and reported by the Village Voice. Then what remained was lightly tagged and the sign was replaced with another one reading, "Street Art Is a Crime." Then it was painted over completely.

"This piece is typical of Ban-sky's output," says the narrator. "The children in this case represent youth, and the sign represents, well, signs." And now, nothingness.