Banksy and the Great Sphinx of Brooklyn
Photo: Ellis Kaplan
UK-based street artist/activist Banksy deposited his latest provocation—a three-foot tall replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza—on Brooklyn’s 127th Street on Tuesday morning. Erected in front of a lot full of cargo containers and concrete blocks and surrounded by an ankle-deep puddle of foul water, the statue seems to have been fashioned in a studio from foam, cement and chunks of cinderblock and then embellished with discarded items from the vicinity.
Auto-glass shop owner Bernardo Veles claims his employees discovered the artifact at 6 a.m., but an unidentified man reported seeing “two hipsters” drop it off at 7 a.m. By noon, when word got out that Banksy was involved, the same man had claimed ownership of the statue, offering the unattached pieces for sale at $100 each. The Gothamist has reported that the man, who speaks no English, has a representative who is trying to broker a sale of the item to Sotheby’s. Unlike Banksy’s other public pieces, however, which are usually painted on the walls of privately-owned buildings, this one was placed on public property, making issues of ownership less clear.
Conflicts among members of the assembled crowd have included fighting over loose fragments and chasing away a suspicious man seen wielding a hammer and chisel.