Considering how many Banksy pieces have been tagged by less interesting people or scrubbed by the city, it's no wonder that some property owners have been taking more hands-on approaches to protecting the pieces. After the Banksy piece in Williamsburg went up on Thursday it was promptly defaced (and restored) before building landlord Cara Tabachnick decided to hire guards, put up plexiglass and a rolling metal gate...
“We still haven’t 100 percent decided what to do,” Tabachnick, whose family owns the five-story building the piece is on, told the Post. “But we do have the instinct — and are trying — to preserve it for the public so it can be viewed and enjoyed, and not destroyed in any way.” Tabachnick expanded upon all this in a piece for NY Magazine, including how much trouble she's had getting the local police precinct and city councilman involved in helping protect the piece. Not really much surprise there though, considering certain prevailing attitudes toward street art.
So her family is considering every possibility as to what may happen next:
It's hard to know what the future holds. In England, where many of his pieces survive, buildings have gained value and local governments take great pride in his work. As the cult of Banksy grows, that could mean tour groups coming around to look at the painting. It is hard for our family to envision busloads of tourists being dropped off at our front door every day. But it is a possibility.
This isn't the only piece that's gotten some protection—the Twin Towers piece in Tribeca was covered in plexiglass (which has since been shattered), the Red Hook piece has a guard, and the LES car and truck have been towed somewhere for their own protection (though this only happened after the car doors were ripped off).
In addition, the two pieces that make of "temporary exhibition space" on West 24th Street between 10th and 11th also have 24/7 guards and gates (we dropped by at 1 a.m. today and saw Banksy fans posing with the guard). Workers told the Post that Banksy paid Chelsea developer (and former broker) Alf Naman (who owns the property) $50,000 to hang two canvas paintings for five days. The property owner then got permits for the project and paid a uniformed security guard to protect the exhibit; it's unclear whether Banksy asked for this or not.