Court rules for Banksy's 'Art Buff' to return to Folkestone

The Creative Foundation have successfully won a high court battle for the Banksy artwork to be returned to Folkestone, nearly a year after the graffiti artist created ‘Art Buff’ on the back wall of the amusement arcade at the top of Payers Park.

 

Despite it becoming a hugely popular local attraction, tenants of the building, Dreamland Leisure Limited, a company linked to the Godden family, arranged for the piece to be cut out of the property and shipped to Miami to be sold at auction. The Creative Foundation obtained an injunction order against the leisure company along with Jeremy and Jordan Godden, preventing them from selling it earlier this year. 

 

The decision by the high court was made around the premise that those who removed the artwork were the leaseholders, and not the freeholders of the building.

 

The Creative Foundation will gain legal control of Banksy’s ‘Art Buff’ next week. Alastair Upton told Academy FM: “We will ship it back to the UK as soon as possible. I’m delighted and thrilled – it was made in Folkestone, for Folkestone, and the town will really appreciate its return” 

The artist known as Banksy was born in Bristol but his identity has remained a mystery, despite The Mail on Sunday claiming they knew his identity, something that was neither confirmed nor denied.

 

This is not the first time that the appearance of a Banksy has resulted in legal rows.  In April last year 'Mobile Lovers' appeared on a wooden panel in a doorway at the Broad Plain Boy's club and was almost immediately crowbarred off.

 

Banksy approved its sale to raise money but the local authorities claimed ownership.  In August the piece was sold after Banksy wrote to the club telling them it was theirs.