Van Weyenbergh Fine Art
Too good to be true! An artwork, attributed to Banksy, located in the city of Ferrol, northern Spain
Updated: Mar 14, 2019
The painting showing two Civil Guardia kissing on a white wall, with the message "reserved for Banksy", appeared in April in the city of Ferrol. In this city of Ferrol a street art festival has been held every year since 2008 to revitalize a neighborhood of the city. This harbor city is in economic decline. The Spanish media wondered if Banksy was the author of the painting, which is very similar to one of the artist's most famous paintings depicting two English police officers kissing each other. But 09/08, day of the beginning of the Ferrol festival, AFP asked www.banksy.co.uk by email if the painting of the Guardia civil agents was by the hand of Banksy. They received immediately a negative answer..
"Las Meninas de Canido" festival was created in 2008 by Eduardo Hermida.
He invited artists to paint, on the walls and doors of a district of Ferrol city, their interpretation of the "Meninas". The Meninas is the famous painting of the seventeenth century by Velazquez. Eduardo Hermida’s goal was to revive this industrial city, plunged into a huge crisis due to the decline of the shipyards.
The relationship between Banksy and the city of Ferrol dates back to October 2017. Estrella Galicia, the beer brand that became one of the sponsor of the festival, purchased advertising space in several British cities and newspapers. The Galicia beer company asked Banksy to exhibit his art in Ferrol. The invitation to Banksy was as following: "Dear Banksy, we have reserved a space for you in one of our streets so that you can freely express your personal interpretation of Las Meninas and help us make our neighborhood a more beautiful place". And in April 2018, the painting appeared overnight.
But as the months passed, doubts about the paternity of the work began to surface. Consulted by AFP on Friday, Eduardo Hermida assured to have also written to Banksy on his website and that this one had never assured him that he was not the author of the work. Hermida also recounts receiving an e-mail from Banksy website asking for the exact location of the white wall "reserved for Banksy", a few months before the work appears.