Banksy's 'Kissing Cops' to Be Shipped to America and Sold

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A work by the graffiti artist Banksy, which shows two policemen embracing and kissing each other, is being put up for sale. Banksy spray-painted the work on the side of a pub in Brighton in 2004, but now the pub's owner is selling it off through a New York gallery. It's expected to get between £500,000 and £1 million, or between $825,000 and $1.6 million.

The work has been a tourist attraction in Brighton for years, although since 2008 it hasn't actually been the original Banksy. That year, the pub's owner, Chris Steward, had the painting chemically transferred to a canvas, and the version on the pub wall was replaced with a duplicate. Steward took this step because the original painting had been attacked and vandalized so many times.

As of now, it's unclear what will happen to the painting (which the Daily Mirror rather delightfully refers to as "the snogging cops"). All the money from the sale, though, will go to the pub. We'd say the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art should try and get the snogging cops for their Art in the Street exhibition, a graffiti gallery that just opened last week (and which already features several works by Banksy), but the LAPD has lately been blaming the museum for "glorifying graffiti" and encouraging an uptick in unlicensed spray-painting. So it's probably not the most politic choice.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.