Banksy’s Newest Piece in Greenpoint Is a Response to Rejected Times Column


Good morning, New York. Banksy would like to once again give you a piece of his mind. Today’s entry in the ongoing “Better Out Than In” residency is a simple stencil reading, “This site contains blocked messages,” a response to the censorship the artist feels he has suffered at the hands of one venerable New York publication. And which publication might that be?

According to Banksy, today’s piece was supposed to be a column for the New York Times about One World Trade Center. Specifically, the artist hoped to use the pages of the Grey Lady to let us know exactly how he feels about the nearly completed structure: He hates it, and we should be ashamed we — meaning all New Yorkers — let it get built.

The attacks of September 11th were an attack on all of us and we will live out our lives in their shadow. But it’s also how we react to adversity that defines us. And the response?

104 floors of compromise?

See Also: Exclusive Interview With Banksy and More

Though the piece could have used some light fact-checking (there were 19 9/11 hijackers, not 10 as he writes) and sometimes veers into slack cliché (“It looks like something they would build in Canada”), it’s not terrible. We have to wonder, was it the polemic Banksy was offering that forced Times editors to leave the piece on the cutting room floor?

See the full text below.

The location and some more photos of the piece are on the next page.


Intersection of Noble and West streets, Greenpoint

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Send your story tips to the author, Raillan Brooks.