The New York City Police Department is reportedly looking to arrest street artist and provocateur Banksy, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is onboard with the idea.
The New York Post reported on Wednesday that Bloomberg’s administration indicated it would remove any Banksy installations on public property following the mayor’s statements to that effect at a press conference.
“Nobody’s a bigger supporter of the arts than I am,” Bloomberg was quoted as saying. “I just think there are some places for art and some places where — no art. And you running up to somebody’s property or public property and defacing it is not my definition of art. Or it may be art, but it should not be permitted, and I think that’s exactly what the law says.”
Business Insider reported that Banksy responded by posting pictures of new artwork on his website, along with a photo of the Post story quoting Bloomberg and the message, “I don’t read what i believe in the papers.”
The artist is in the midst of a month-long “residency” in the city, with projects including a truck stuffed with animatronic animals bearing the words “Farm Fresh Meats” driving through the meatpacking district, a “pop-up” stall in Central Park selling his work while pretending they were actually knock-offs, and an exhibit in Brooklyn where a statue satirizing fast food mascot Ronald McDonald had its shoes shined by one of the artist’s associates.
The NYPD is reportedly trying to locate Bansky with the goal of arresting and charging him with vandalism.
Watch video of Banksy’s “McDonald’s” exhibit, posted on Wednesday, below.