Founder and artistic director of The Arches Andy Arnold makes a revelation about the Banksy murals at The Arches in Glasgow.
Regarding your article (‘Last minute reprieve for Banksy murals’, Scotsman, August 7), it states that the Banksy paintings are being restored after they were ‘accidentally covered in emulsion paint in 2007’.
Well, they weren’t accidentally painted over – it was our conscious decision to obliterate them to make way for other arts activities in the building.
Banksy himself would be the first person to testify that all art of this nature should be transitory. These pieces were never meant to have a permanent place in that once hallowed arts building. Rather, they were celebrated for a moment and then we moved on.
All this talk of restoring them for the nation is tosh – it is a cynical move to earn cash from what were never intended to be anything more than a statement of the time.
I can guarantee that the owners of the Arches, Network Rail, and the current sitting tenants will soon be squabbling over who has the right to sell them on.
Andy Arnold, founder and artistic director of The Arches, 1991 - 2008