Banksy accuses London fashion store of using his artwork without permission

Street artist has encouraged his 11.6 million Instagram followers to shoplift at Guess on Regent Street

Employees at the London Guess store remove lettering from a window display that included Banksy's Flower Thrower artwork. Reuters / Henry Nicholls
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British street artist Banksy is seeking to take revenge on a fashion shop in London he accused of using his artwork without permission.

The anonymous artist encouraged his 11.6 million Instagram followers to steal from Guess on Regent Street after saying he did not agree to its use of his Flower Thrower artwork.

“Attention all shoplifters,” wrote Banksy on Instagram.

“Please go to Guess on Regent Street. They've helped themselves to my artwork without asking, how can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?”

The post has been liked more than a million times on the social media platform.

Guess has since closed the store and covered its window displays.

As well as using Banksy's work, the fashion retailer is selling a collection featuring some of the artist's designs.

Guess closed its store on Regent Street in London after criticism from Banksy. Reuters

The clothing was produced in collaboration with Brandalised, a company that licenses graffiti images for use on commercial products.

Last year, Banksy lost a UK court case to protect his designs. The ruling said he could not protect the works unless he claimed them under his legal name.

It followed a ruling by a UK court in favour of Full Colour Black, a subsidiary company of Brandalised, granting it trademarks to Banksy's work, despite having no part in creating them.

The court said the works were originally created in the public sphere as graffiti, fashion watchdog Diet Prada reported.

Banksy in Ukraine

The street artist, based in the south-western English city of Bristol, is currently in Ukraine, where he has produced several new works.

They include a gymnast doing a handstand amid debris, a ballerina in a neck brace, and two children using a tank trap as a see-saw.

Updated: November 19, 2022, 6:01 AM
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