About 60 works claiming to be by the mysterious British street artist known as Banksy have been taken into custody by bailiffs after a dispute over the rights to display the works. The paintings have been exhibited in Brussels since the beginning of the month, in a former Delhaize supermarket in the Molière area of Ixelles. The exhibition was organised by Strokar, a collective which also exhibits other street art in the premises.
But the works were supplied by a German group called On Entertainment, which now, according to Banksy’s representative Steve Lazarides, is in possession of no legal rights to transport the works, let alone exhibit them for an entrance fee. 90% of the income from entrance to the exhibition goes to On Entertainment, and only 10% to Strokar.
It was Strokar itself who made an application to the court for an order to seize the artworks, leaving the dispute to Lazarides and On Entertainment to sort out. According to Strokar, the documents presented by On Entertainment to back up their legal position did no such thing, while their financial statements turned out to disguise the fact that the company is deep in debt. One document provided by On Entertainment to show their right to exploit the works expressly forbids the company from transporting the works.
The former supermarket remains open to display other works of street art exhibited – this time legally – by the collective.