You Can See a Controversial Banksy Mural on Display in New Orleans Right Now

May 31, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A once-defunct Banksy mural has made its way back into the public eye in New Orleans this month, for this first time in over a decade.

The artwork, created by the famously elusive British street artist, is a 1,600-pound graffiti mural Nola.com said is, “as important to the New Orleans zeitgeist as NOMA’s portrait of Marie Antoinette ever was.”

So, you can imagine, there’s quite a story behind it.

Just as Hurricane Gustav threatened the city in August 2008, New Orleans was hit with a barrage of Banksy stencil paintings produced by him and a few alleged assistants. In typical Banksy fashion, how the paintings came to be created is a bit unclear. There are a handful of stories and rumors, but despite it all, the murals are considered authentic Banksys. Many of the paintings (around 15) included commentary about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath three years prior.

7 Reasons I’m in Love With New Orleans — and You Should Be, Too

The painting that appeared on Elysian Fields Avenue was particularly controversial, featuring two men dressed in military garb looting a TV from a window into a shopping cart. Although Banksy’s intentions are unknown, it was viewed by some as a critique of the National Guard.

Grafitti by the illusive artist Banksy adorns a building August 29, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Grafitti by the illusive artist Banksy adorns a building August 29, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

The owner of the building, Sean Cummings, said that before the mural popped up, he received a call from an acquaintance claiming to represent Banksy. He was skeptical, but he agreed to let the structure be used for art.

“I said, ‘Wow, it’s a signature Banksy irreverently poking the eye of society,’” he recalled to Nola.com about seeing the mural. “But, oh boy, the National Guard is going to hate this.”

Shortly after the murals were painted, however, they were vandalized by antigraffiti activists. Cummings did his best to protect the mural on his building, but the vandals were relentless. At one point, it was buried underneath nine different layers of paint, Teflon, plywood and even Obama campaign posters.

Although the original building on Elysian Fields Avenue has been demolished, Cummings removed and transported the mural to the New Orleans Conservation Guild where he pumped $50,000 into its restoration.

Flash forward to today, and it has found a new (and safe) home in the New Orleans’ Central Business District in the International House Hotel lobby — where anyone can view it but, this time, no one can touch it.

Featured image by Chris Graythen/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.