Big cities like London are virtual outdoor art museums, thanks to a wave of graffiti street artists who have turned every building, wall and sidewalk into their own personal canvases.
Now that the Olympics are in town, the local police aren't turning a blind eye to the outdoor artists and have been rounding up anyone who dares to paint-bomb anything that's remotely near an Olympic venue. In fact, they started arresting the artists in a large sweep of the city a week ago in preparation for the big games.
Banksy, the anonymous and world famous satiric street artist, has managed to not only elude the authorities but also paint two works of Olympic themed street art as his way of celebrating the games. He also announced his handiwork on his website.
Banksy's fans might have found the images thought-provoking or amusing but the International Olympic Committee and their one track minds didn't even let them crack a smile. They are notoriously protective of their trademarks and brands and with police already on the lookout for graffiti and street art, they could order Banksy's works to be destroyed. That's a shame because they are not only funny piece of street satire, but a Banksy original is potentially worth thousands of dollars to savvy art collectors. A recent auction sold a number of Banksy's works for more than 400,000 pounds.
That's a big chunk of change, even for a minor felony. Why not put something so valuable to good use rather than just dismantle it? We're sure someone from the Greek or Spanish teams would be more than happy to take one of the offending works of art off of London's hands while they are there, so they can sell it back home to raise some money for their fledgling economies. I'm sure they would even be willing to pay the extra overweight baggage fees to take it with them on their flight back home.
Video: Roundtable: Biggest Olympic scandal?
Photo: Peter Mcdiarmid/Getty Images News/Getty Images