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Arts

Valuable Banksy Street Art Stolen From East Los Angeles Wall (Photos)

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Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 6:04 AM

click to enlarge Banksy's 'Caution.' - TED SOQUI
  • Ted Soqui
  • Banksy's 'Caution.'
Photos by Ted Soqui.

British guerrilla artist Banksy was robbed, and it wasn't at the Academy Awards, where is Exit Through the Gift Shop documentary was nominated but didn't win Sunday.

No, another one of his pieces around L.A. was taken down. But this one appears to have been stolen outright. (His 'Livin the Dream' piece on a Vegas-themed billboard owned by CBS Outdoor was taken down by the company and crumpled up in mid-February).

LA Weekly photographer Ted Soqui reports on his blog that someone (or ones) appeared to have sawed out his "Caution" piece at East First and Soto streets in Boyle Heights. It happened ...

" ... in broad daylight" on Friday, Soqui reports.

Banksy's has had a rough ride in L.A. as he has ninja-footed around town, putting up his signature -- and some say six-figure -- stencil and graffiti art.

click to enlarge 'Caution:' Art hole in Boyle Heights. - TED SOQUI
  • Ted Soqui
  • 'Caution:' Art hole in Boyle Heights.

One Friday before this piece was taken it appears that someone vandalized his "Crayon Soldier" piece in Westwood.

click to enlarge 'Caution' is a play on those undocumented crossing signs on interstate 5. - TED SOQUI
  • Ted Soqui
  • 'Caution' is a play on those undocumented crossing signs on interstate 5.

And then, last week the Academy Awards folks disinvited the artist: He's known to show up to events incognito, even among a crew of costumed people whose identities are cloaked, and they couldn't have that for security reasons.

But who knows if Banksy thinks his trip to L.A. was a wash. He's fairly hard to pin down, and he almost got more press than Charlie Sheen this month. And it's not like his name, reputation or artwork are any less valuable after his romp.

But Angelenos might feel a little teased: All that art, out in public. Now some of it will be as elusive as Banksy himself.

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