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Banksy Encourages Followers to Shoplift From Guess Store in London After it Uses His Artwork

Visitors walk past “Flower Thrower”, a reproduction of a mural by British artist Banksy, during the unveiling of the “The World of Banksy, The Immersive Experience” exhibition, in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.The mysterious British artist Banksy has accused clothing retailer Guess of stealing his graffiti motif for a store display.On Friday, Banksy urged his Instagram* followers to shoplift from Guess London store on Regent Street saying it had used his artwork without permission.

"They've helped themselves to my artwork without asking, how can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?" he said in his post.

© Instagram/banksyBanksyBanksyAccording to him, the clothing retailer stole his iconic “Flower Thrower” motif for a store display.The store window featured Banksy’s “Flower Thrower” graffiti with a new collection from Guess, which the website says was created in partnership with Brandalised, an urban graffiti license whose mission is to provide Banksy fans with affordable graffiti collectibles.It is unknown if Guess has obtained the rights to use the artist’s image in its clothing line. A Guess x Brandalised press release said that a fall/winter capsule collection 2022 with casual clothing was “inspired by Banksy graffiti”.According to copyright lawyer Liz Ward, founder of Virtuoso Legal, quoted by the media, Guess “appear to have legitimately sourced the Banksy artwork via a third party, namely Brandalised, who say they have rights to commercialize and use Banksy’s artwork on goods”.If Banksy didn’t know about legitimate use of his art by Guess, then his reaction is understandable, the lawyer added. After Banksy’s post, store staff covered the window.Over the years, the artist has seen the registration of his trademark challenged due to, in part, to his desire to hide his identity. * Instagram and its parent company Meta are banned in Russia as extremist, terrorist organizations.

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