Banksy’s ‘Dismal Aid’ Sign Stolen by Enterprising Thieves

Also, Jaden Smith aspires to be like Banksy.

Dismaland at night. Photo: Press Association.
This re-purposed Dismaland sign was intended to highlight the "Dismal Aid" offered to refugees. <br>Photo: Lee McGrath/Lincolnshire Aid 2 Calais</br>

This re-purposed Dismaland sign was intended to highlight the “Dismal Aid” offered to refugees. Instead, it was stolen.
Photo: Lee McGrath/Lincolnshire Aid 2 Calais

Building accommodations for migrants in France was an admirable way to re-purpose the raw materials of Banksy’s Dismaland. But was the new signage, intended to draw attention to the “Dismal Aid” provided in these makeshift camps, just making a difficult situation worse?

Onlookers at the notorious camp in Calais criticized the ostentatious lettering last week by taking it down—but perhaps less out of protest and more out of opportunism.

One aid worker, Lee McGrath from Lincolnshire, took part in dismantling the letters. “I hear they’re going to try and sell it on eBay, but they can’t because I went and took an ‘i,'” McGrath told NBC News.

Aid worker Lee McGrath claims he took this "i" from the Dismal Aid sign. <br>Photo: Lee McGrath/Licolnshire Aid 2 Calais</br>

Aid worker Lee McGrath claims he took this “i” from the Dismal Aid sign.
Photo: Lee McGrath/Licolnshire Aid 2 Calais

“If anyone wants to sell the sign to make a profit, they can’t because I’ve got part of it,” McGrath said. “I’m not telling you where it is, but it is secure.”

(If the anonymous thieves really do attempt an eBay auction, they might first want to watch the film “How to Sell a Banksy”.)

Speaking of anonymity, it seems the art world’s next mystery philanthropist might be someone who already has quite a bit of fame: Jaden Smith. The 17-year-old Renaissance teen recently told GQ of his plans to disappear in order to become an anonymous artist.

“No one will know where I am in ten years…It’ll be kind of like Banksy,” he said. “But in a different way. More of a social impact. Helping people. But through art installations. It’ll be like, ‘This just happened that helped a bunch of people over here. We don’t know who did it, but these symbols and things were left around, so we can only guess that it’s Jaden and the squad.’”

Next stop: Calais?

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