Last night, after almost three hours of shivering, sparks, and cleavage, the staff at Larry Flint's Hustler Club was finally able to pry Bansky's most recent piece, fully intact, off of its metal frame and into an empty truck. The piece, which went up early yesterday morning and drew crowds all day, seems destined for a framed place of honor inside the strip club.

That's right, soon enough on 51st street you'll be able to slip singles into a g-string as you admire the craftsmanship of the world's most famous street artist.

I arrived just before the club's opening to what's by now become a pretty de rigueur Banksy scene: hardcore fanboys and confused passers-by alike jockeying for the perfect cell phone photo. And yes, I can confirm more than one Polaroid-user. You're welcome, Manhattan; Banksy brings the Brooklyn to you.

Enter: strippers.

Plenty of Hustler's "entertainers" were keen to get a photo with the piece before its imminent removal, and at least four of them flaunted their magnificently manufactured breasts and smiles next to the tag. One stripper actually put her hands on the piece itself, immediately sparking a roar of condemnation from the crowd. "Lighten up," she snapped back. "It's gonna look like shit in a week."

Enter: squat, unctuous Hustler guys.

This Banksy was not going to become another ruined, sad reminder of how you just can't count on anything anymore in this cold city—not if Hustler's management had anything to say about it. At about 6:30 p.m. a crew of handymen arrived and a moving truck was parked across the street. One of managers told me their plan: the tag was going to be cut out of the wall in one piece, carefully framed, and put somewhere inside the club. "A new door costs a bit but the publicity is worth it," he chuckled.

Enter: metal saw.

Banksy Removal 1 from Gothamist on Vimeo.

Banksy Removal 2 from Gothamist on Vimeo.

The hired handymen and some Hustler staff went to work cutting up the door in what ultimately turned out to be a TWO HOUR SHOWER OF SPARKS.

In between breaths of lung-shredding metal debris, another manager gave me the lowdown on how Banksy made the tag. "He was here within a minute of the last employee leaving in the morning. He must have been casing the place for a while," he said. At about 6:30 a.m. yesterday, with one lookout stationed on the corner of 51st and 12th ave, Banksy put up a tarp around a portion of the metal door and made the tag in 40 minutes of complete concealment.

I pressed him about security camera footage but got only a shrug. "You can't see much, you can't make him out," I was told.

Finally, after more than an hour of cutting apart the club's door, the Banksy'd portion was all that remained. At this point myself and the rest of the crowd were treated to a surreal capitalist-patriarchal tableau: in near-unison the Hustler men cheered, high-fived, lit cigarettes, and called for the moving truck. As visions of Banksybucks pole-danced in their heads, someone shouted "And that's an ass that never gets old!"

The remaining rectangle of tagged steel was briskly pulled from the door frame and hoisted onto the truckbed perfectly intact. In less than 30 seconds the piece was covered, locked away, and driven off to destination unknown.

Exeunt Banksy.

Banksy Removal 3 from Gothamist on Vimeo.

Inside the club itself, the "entertainers" who had posed with the tag hours earlier were all too happy to talk Banksy. When asked if the artist himself had been a customer last night, one told me "That's what I've been trying to decide. Like, he was probably here." When asked for her opinion of the work itself, she said "Oh yeah, I love Banksy. Are you Banksy?"