When it comes to Banksy, everybody's a critic — even the NYPD.
Cops arrested two men last week who were seen liberating the final piece in Banksy's New York Octoberfest from its perch on a building in Long Island City, the NYT reports. The inflatable letters spelling out BANKSY!, which at least one gallery owner values at more than $200K, are considered "arrest evidence." They have been officially described by the NYPD not as art, but as "balloon."
“I don’t have it as art on the invoice,” Deputy Chief Jack Trabitz, the commanding officer of the property clerk division, tells the Times. “We have it as a balloon.” As such the letters have been deflated for easier storage. If unclaimed — and establishing provenance and ownership could be murky — they may eventually be auctioned off. Or discarded.
For now, Chief Trabitz does not anticipate a big payday for the Banksy work, because it had been inventoried as something essentially valueless, the Times says. And once that happens . . .
“The item description is never changed,” he said. “You can’t redescribe it. It’s a balloon.”