By Kayla Kibbe / May 23, 2019

Banksy Got Kicked Out After Crashing the Biggest Art Event of the Year

The mysterious artist still managed to steal the show before he left

Banksy's "Venice in Oil" on display in St. Mark's Square
Banksy's "Venice in Oil" on display in St. Mark's Square
MARA GUGLIELMI/AFP/Getty Images

Famed and controversial artist Banksy made a surprise guest appearance at this year’s Venice Biennale, the biggest event of the art world, despite not having been asked to do so.

The British artist was asked to leave the event by authorities after showing up uninvited, Business Insider reported.

But when Banksy crashes a party, he crashes in style, and the artist still managed to steal the spotlight with a short-lived display set up Venice’s St Mark’s Square.

The work, titled “Venice in Oil,” is comprised of nine separate framed canvasses that depict a giant cruise ship floating in a Venice canal, obstructing views of the city.

The painting reflects an ongoing tourist crisis that has become an increasing threat to Venice’s infrastructure and culture. A recent Guardian article called Venice’s struggle the biggest tourism crisis in Europe, citing stats that estimate the city will attract 38 million tourists per year by 2025. Cruise ships, in particular, have a played a major role in the issue. In 2016, as the Guardian noted, protestors attempted to stop large cruise ships from passing through the Venice’s Giudecca Canal.

Banky’s latest piece was briefly on display at the event before the uninvited guest star was asked to leave. A video posted to the artist’s Instagram account shows local authorities ordering him to take down his display and leave.

“You have to go away,” one policeman can be heard saying in the video. “You can’t stay here.”

While Banksy had to make an early exit from the event, a recent spray painting of a child that has appeared along the canal Rio de Ca Foscari in recent days has been attributed to the artist, who is well-known for his anonymity and signature street art.

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