Iconic Banksy works on display at Russian museum

Eight iconic works by the British street artist Banksy, including a sculpture from the provocative 2015 pop-up exhibit Dismaland, have gone on display at a museum in Russia.

The exhibition at the Tver City Museum and Exhibition Center northwest of Moscow also includes a signed print of “Love is in the Air’, one of Banksy’s most famous images, which features a masked man poised to throw a bouquet of flowers skyward.

Works by the artist from Bristol, England, whose real name and identity have been kept a closely-guarded secret for 30 years, now fetch millions of euros at auction.

The record was broken earlier this year when a work honouring the British health service, ‘Game Changer’, fetched £16.8m (€19.6m) at Christie’s in London.

The museum’s Elizaveta Maksimova told reporters: “There are certificates for the exhibits which prove they are authentic and signed by Banksy.

“One work is unique, it is a sculpture which came to us first. The stone was bought in the Dismaland; it’s a Disneyland in reverse.”

Dismaland was a deliberately miserable parody of Disney theme parks which members of the public could visit at the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England.

The project was dissembled at the close and parts of it sold off. Some wood and fixtures from the ‘bemusement park’, which had also featured a model boat full of refugees, were sent to Calais to be repurposed as shelters for asylum seekers.

Banksy has a company called Pest Control which authenticates genuine works due to the huge prevalence of copycat works and fake signed prints.

Apart from the “emperor of street art” himself, Maksimova said, the exhibition is “dedicated to street art, to contemporary artists… With this exhibition we want to show modern street art as it is now.”

The exhibition also features works by Katherine Vinogradov from London, Liu Wei from Beijing, Vf from Moscow, and the Dobro group from St. Petersburg. It opened on Tuesday and will run until October 17.

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