Street artist Stik's non-profit Polish mural hijacked to London
PR dla Zagranicy
An artwork worth over PLN 1 million (nearly EUR 0.25) vanished from the coastal city of Gdańsk in unknown circumstances to reappear at a gallery in London.
One of Stik's murals, London. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The artist's world-famous stick figures had adorned a metal container used by a local sports club to store kayaks. The graffiti, made as a community art project with kids from a nearby school in 2011, were later carved out and shipped to Britain in 20 pieces by a third party.
As Gdańsk's Łaźnia Center for Contemporary Art, which had invited the British artist to Poland, assures, the pieces were put on sale without its consent or knowledge.
The metal containers disappeared from view during last year's renovation works on the school premises where the storage facilities were located.
Stik, one the world's most famed street artists, contacted the Łaźnia art center in October, after he had encountered his non-commercial works at a gallery in London. All of the 20 artworks were priced at no less than 10,000 ₤ a piece.
"When Stik left, no one took interest in the containers. They began to rust, someone broke in, and later obscene elements were painted onto the figures by unknown perpetrators," says the head of the UKS Mołtawa Gdańska kayak club, Mieczysław Skokowski.
The owner of the containers, former club member Bogdan Iwaniak, sold the containers after they were removed from the school compounds upon the request of the school authorities. As Iwaniak admitted in an interview for state broadcaster TVP Info, he was unaware of the artworks' value and gave them away for a fraction of their current price.
As Stik and Łaźnia assure, negotiations are underway to return the mural to its original location. Local police is investigating the case. (aba/rk)
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza