[URBAN NOTE] “Banksy artwork restored as public art in pedestrian walkway “
CBC News’ Adrian Cheung notes that a piece of local graffiti by Banksy, Guard with Balloon Dog, is now a public art installation downtown near One York Street.
Artwork by the British street artist Banksy, which once graced the facade of a Toronto building, is now on display as a public art piece in the PATH, Toronto’s Downtown Pedestrian Walkway, next to One York Street north of Harbour Street.
A Toronto developer that salvaged the artwork, Guard with Balloon Dog, unveiled it on Monday. The artwork features a male figure, dressed in a law enforcement uniform, holding the leash of a pink balloon dog that is muzzled.
The artwork, independently appraised at $850,000 US, has been in storage since December 2014, when the developer, Menkes Development Ltd., decided it should be given new life and put back on display.
Banksy, whose identity has never been confirmed, drew several pieces on Toronto buildings during a 2010 tour of his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. Only two pieces of his artwork remain — the one now displayed at One York and another in an alleyway near The Esplanade.
“It was originally for the public and we thought ‘Why not save it? Why not give it back to the public?’ And that’s what we’ve done here,” Jared Menkes, vice-president at Menkes, said Monday.