Author(s): Paul Gough
In the summer of 2009 Bristol saw a remarkable phenomenon that made international news. An estimated 300,000 people queued for hours, often in pouring rain, for admission to the city's museum & art gallery. They had been attracted by the media hype surrounding an exhibition ambiguously entitled 'Banksy vs the Bristol Museum'. There have been many celebratory books about Banksy, but this is the first non-partisan documentation of the Bristol event and an attempt to assess its local and wider impact. ..The book raises a raft of questions: Is Banksy a subversive influence or merely a bit of fun? Why is Banksy so important to Bristol? Is he really important? Where does the exhibition leave Bristol as an epicentre of 'street art'? It looks at the setting up of the show and questions the need - other than to conform to the required Banksy mystique - for secrecy.