During Frieze Week in London, art world insiders and street art bloggers gathered around a new property development in Shoreditch to sip espresso martinis decorated with coconut-shaving lines of “cocaine” and catch the first glimpse of the newly restored Banksy work, Snorting Copper.
The wall had been painted over by Hackney Council during its staunch anti-graffiti years, then Jonathan Ellis and David Kyte of HC Developments bought the building in 2015. The restored piece was unveiled at the event by the mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, who did not fail to acknowledge the irony.
“We’ve been on a journey, and hopefully that’s recognized. We’re now one of the few councils that have a street art policy written into how we manage our public spaces and it’s something that we passionately believe in,” he said. “So much so, that we’re now in partnership with Stik, another street artist, and we’re going to be not only championing his work—we took it to Pride last year—but we’ve been installing a statue in Hoxton Square that he has created for us, which I hope will be another addition to this area’s fantastic artistic legacy.”
This isn’t surprising given the value a Banksy painting can add to a property. Back in May, for example, a Banksy work that appeared on the side of a house on Portobello Road was part of the marketing campaign for a luxury development in Notting Hill, and Shoreditch has been a particular mecca for developers who appreciate the returns on what they call “creative placemaking.”
For their part, Ellis told artnet News that unveiling the Banksy wasn’t about trying to sell the flats, all but two of which had sold prior to their announcement this summer. “Someone should buy our property because they love our property, not just because it’s got a piece of art downstairs,” he said. Read more