Banksy billboard going to Vegas
Among several new Banksy works springing up around Los Angeles was a tagged billboard featuring an inebriated Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The billboard, featuring an advertisement for the Light Group, a management company that operates restaurants in many Las Vegas casinos, was removed Wednesday night, much to the Light Group's disappointment.
Said the company's spokeswoman Beth Bartolini, "We thought it was really flattering," that British street artist Banksy chose their billboard located on Sunset Boulevard for his latest piece of art. She added that CBS Outdoor, the company that owns the billboard, removed it without contacting the Light Group. (CBS Outdoor said the vandalized sign didn't meet their standards.)
But all is not lost. The billboard, though no longer on display on the Sunset Strip, is now in the Light Group's possession and should find a home on the Las Vegas strip. According to Bartolini, Light Group founder and owner Andrew Sasson has no plans to sell the work. Rather, he is looking for a place large enough to display the art, most likely in one of his Vegas properties.
For the record, Disney Studios was not involved in the call to remove the billboard, despite the rather off-color depiction of its famous mice, a source at the company confirms. Banksy's reach this time around seems much further then he likely originally intended.
-- Nicole Sperling
Photo: In this film publicity image released by Paranoid Pictures, graffiti artist Banksy is shown in a scene from "Exit Through the Gift Shop."