Stealing Banksy?

(31/01/2014) - Statement by Tony Baxter – Director, The Sincura Group

The Sincura Group are the London based company commissioned with the removal and sale of Banksy Street Art which has caused a great deal of controversy over the years. As a company we would like the opportunity to represent our case.

Firstly it should be noted that the Sincura Group do not steal art nor do we condone any acts of wanted vandalism or theft. We do not own the pieces of art, have never approached anyone to remove any artwork, or encourage its removal. To date have made no financial gain from the sale of street art.

The Sincura Group are approached by building owners to remove the artwork illegally painted on their sites. The building owners have not asked for the art to be placed on their premises or for the on-going attention received from it. What's more, they run the very real risk of having a grade 2 listing applied to their premises which seriously affects their business operations and resale value. Though loved by the public these are often a hindrance to the building owners.

On an art front the council place plastic covers over the artworks in an attempt to protect them. The truth of the matter is that the placing of this cover increases the degradation of the pieces - with increased bacteria buildup and the inability for the wall to breath underneath. Many of these pieces are on the brink of being lost forever before being assigned to us to bring them back to life.

Having been approached by a building owner we explain the social implication of the removal, and only once satisfied that the piece will be removed with or without our assistance do we agree to manage the piece. We ensure the piece is legally owned, and ensure the salvage, restoration and sale is carried out in a professional and sympathetic manner. We use the world's leading experts to carry out this highly skilled work. This is performed independently of The Sincura Group, with us neither being involved in, nor benefit financially from, this process.

We encourage the owners to make charitable donations to the community from where the artwork originated - to the extent where 100% of the profits from the sale of 'No Ball Games' is being given back to a local charity.

It should also be noted that in the case of our consignment to the piece 'Slave Labour' we had no involvement in its removal. It was only through huge expenses and time that we uncovered the true story behind the piece, with it being in America and a private sale agreed to a private collector, removing it from the public eye forever. We were the only company to have the gumption to seek these answers and negotiate an opportunity to bring it back to the UK to show it to the public one final time and try to find a buyer in its natural home. The only way for a buyer to come forwards was to announce the show to the press and open our company up to a torrent of abuse we received. But without our intervention this piece would have been lost forever.

Prior to our annual sale we exhibit the pieces in their fully restored states – with the opportunity for anyone from the public to attend and view the pieces. Though we do sell tickets for these viewings, the ticket cost goes towards the exhibition costs from security and insurance to transportation and setup. We make no profit from the sale of tickets and ensure a charitable donation is made for each ticket sold.

Though we cannot govern the final destination or owner of the pieces when they go to sale, we do vet all buyers to ensure they are ethically sound. By having a record of the sales we can track the pieces and maintain their whereabouts.

It should be noted that we are art lovers and fully appreciate these beautiful pieces and the artistic skills and merits of Banksy. Though our actions may take the pieces out of the public view, our actions also ensure the longevity of the artworks and that they will remain alive forever.

Tony Baxter
Director, The Sincura Group

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This statement has been received from The Sincura Group directly, and LDNGraffiti is publishing it objectively. I have enabled the comments system in order for an open, and sincere discussion, any views expressed are not my own.
Joe_LDNGraffiti

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