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Banksy, still a big draw

PARK CITY, Utah. — Surrounding its canvas, Park City’s Banksy artwork is showing some signs of age, however, the piece remains a magnet for visitors.

Those visitors will notice, adjacent, a chunk of the exterior of the building is deteriorated thinking perhaps that that is part of its charm, however, locals may notice that that area just to the right of the painting has deteriorated over time.

Java Cow is the coffee shop/ice cream parlor on Main St. on which it sits. Owners Marcie and Ken Davis came to work one morning during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and to their complete surprise, Banksy had left his mark on the side of their building. Marcie told me in 2017, “At first glance, we wondered who would paint graffiti here, but then we thought, Wow, even though it’s graffiti, it is quite a nice image. It’s cool.”

Sundance 2010 was when Banksy created this mural, to promote the movie 'Exit Through the Gift Shop."
Sundance 2010 was when Banksy created this mural, to promote the movie ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

Late last year, a slow-moving car driving up the alley, swerved to avoid a pedestrian and the car’s bumper came in contact with the building approximately a foot from the famed art. It left a relatively small scar on the building which has grown but has narrowly avoided the globally recognized work of rare art. Java Cow Manager Rebecca Williams told me on Sunday, “The wind whips through the alley pretty fiercely which is causing a gradual chipping away of the car-damaged exterior.” 

The Banksy was left alone when it first appeared, then when vandals attempted to do harm to the prized graffiti art, the Davis’ surrounded it with a plexiglass and wood protective frame. That was damaged by vandals as well. It was shattered, then repaired then it shattered again over the years and now the familiar shattered 

frame only adds to the allure of the whole story. Williams said, “The whipping winds sneak into the minuscule space between the frame and the wall keeping any replaced plexiglass shattered.”

 

A Banksy sold at auction today in London for $25 million.

These recent structural developments don’t detract in the least from the continuous attraction of people in Park City who merely marvel the mystique and photograph the phenomenon.

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