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Banksy takes errant swipe at Canada in World Trade Center diatribe

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the graffiti artist stamped “This site contains blocked messages” on a Brooklyn wall
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The graffiti artist stamped “This site contains blocked messages” on a Brooklyn wall. (Photo via banksyny.com)

World renowned graffiti artist Banksy has besmirched Canada as boring in an op-ed piece meant at besmirching the new World Trade Center as cowardly, in a column apparently rejected by the New York Times and instead posted online.

On his website, Banksy says he wrote a column for the New York Times, "But they declined to publish what I supplied." Instead, the graffiti artist stamped “This site contains blocked messages” on a Brooklyn wall and posted his diatribe on his personal website.

The rejected column claims the One World Trade Centre project being completed at Ground Zero in Manhattan is a vast disappointment that lacks confidence and "so clearly proclaims the terrorists won."

Eesh. But during his attack, which dismisses the project as nervous, shy and well-mannered (in a bad way), the mysterious artist also reaches out and takes an errant swipe at Canada:

That building is a disaster. Well no, disasters are interesting. One World Trade Center is a non-event. It's vanilla. It looks like something they would build in Canada.

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What the hell did we do, Banksy? Is this a case of actual Canadian loathing, or is Banksy simply partaking in some characteristic hipster dismissiveness?

For those uninitiated, Banksy is an otherwise anonymous British artist who was chronicled in the recent documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. His street art has appeared throughout Europe, major U.S. cities, and even on the Israeli West Bank wall.

Banksy's work first appeared in Toronto in 2010, when he scrawled seven pieces on various areas around the downtown. All but two pieces have been painted over or otherwise destroyed.

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According to the Toronto Star, a wall containing one of those pieces, an image of a police officer carrying a balloon animal, was saved when the building was destroyed and will be displayed as a piece of public art inside the new building.

Will Ellsworth-Jones, author of a book on Banksy, told the newspaper that the subversive artist would loath the idea of one of his pieces being used to fancify a condo building.

It's unlikely that Banksy's recent jab at Canada can be directly linked to the corporate fate of one of his Toronto pieces, but he clearly wasn't impressed during his Canadian tour.

Banksy's real message about the value of the World Trade Center memorial is far more salacious than his dismissive claim that Canada is boring. But that doesn't mean we aren't entitled to be a little irritated at the smear.

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