Mystery artwork on Easter Rising site ‘not by Banksy’
A leading street artist has dismissed claims a politically charged artwork on the Moore Street 1916 battlefield site was drawn by the world-renowned Banksy.
The stencil-style piece putting a new twist on Patrick Pearse’s surrender to British commanders appeared on hoarding around the national monument in Dublin’s city centre as campaigners await a court battle on the future of the terrace.
The mural was signed Banksy but Will St Leger, a popular artist and activist, said: “Even if Banksy did do a piece on Moore Street it really wouldn’t do much for the campaign as everything would become about the artist.
“It’s the idea that’s the good thing, but the artist did not take ownership of it and I don’t know why.”
St Leger said he had planned to paint his own 2006 “Duty Free State” stencil of Michael Collins carrying designer shopping bags but abandoned it after a court date was set for a hearing on future restoration works.
He was in Moore Street on Thursday, but was buying vegetables from the market traders rather than painting.
The entire terrace, from numbers 10-19, is important as it was where the rebels broke into as they fled the GPO and they held the last council of war when the leaders accepted defeat.
There are plans to restore 14-17 and make room for a museum but there are fears parts of the terrace will be demolished to make way for a planned shopping complex.
The Save Moore Street campaign described the construction works as a “demolition of history” and about 30 protesters occupied the building site earlier in the month until they got a court date for a hearing on their concerns.
St Leger added that w orks were incorrectly attributed to Banksy following the terror attacks in Paris, both on the Charile Hebdo offices and the Bataclan massacre.
“It’s not unknown for fake Banksys to appear in Dublin,” he said.
“I’m 99% sure it’s not him. Banksy has not put his name on his work for years. It’s not his cutting style. It’s not his drawing style.
“Whoever put it up was putting it up in a rush.
“The idea itself is decent. But the proportions are not great, that’s one way you’d know it’s not Banksy, he wouldn’t make that mistake.”
This week developers in London’s Knightsbridge covered up a confirmed Banksy opposite the French embassy which criticised the tactics used in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais.
In recent years the world renowned street artist has used posts on his website to confirm if an artwork is his.
Later, his publicist did not add to the short-lived excitement, adding: ” It is not by Banksy.”