LONDON: A Banksy mural, covered up by builders’ hoarding and scaffolding for the past few months, will be uncovered Monday in the heart of London’s Notting Hill area. Known variously as “The Graffiti Painter,” “The Painter” or “Velazquez,” the work shows a figure, thought to be Spanish painter Diego Velazquez, with an easel writing “Banksy” in large red letters.
Drawn on the corner of Acklam and Portbello Road in 2008, it was covered after developer Enstar Capital began refurbishing the property to make luxury flats.
“It is a lovely feature for the building and a lovely feature in Notting Hill which has retained its Londonness,” Enstar Capital Chief Executive Simon Lyons told Reuters. “One of the reasons I bought the building was that there was a Banksy there. It gave it that iconic profile. So while I think the prices for Banksy are nonsensical, you could say I was a fan in some ways.”
Enstar originally wanted to move the Banksy but decided it would have been too risky so it remains in the same place and is covered by glass and is floodlit.
One-bedroom luxury flats at the property, Lyons said, are worth at least 950,000 pounds ($1.2 million).
“Would I love it if Banksy came and did it on the building where I live?” Lyons said. “Probably not.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 06, 2019, on page 8.