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Graffiti War In London: Robbo Versus Banksy

Banksy rat graffiti, City Road, London, UK.  Photo: LoopZilla (CC)

Banksy rat graffiti, City Road, London, UK. Photo: LoopZilla (CC)

Gabriele Steinhauser reports on a Banksy backlash in London for the Wall Street Journal:

In the predawn hours of Christmas morning, a 40-year-old shoe repairman who goes by the name Robbo squeezed his 6-foot-8-inch frame into a wet suit, tossed some spray cans into a plastic bag, and crossed Regent’s Canal on a red-and-blue air mattress.

Robbo, one of the lost pioneers of London’s 1980s graffiti scene, was emerging from a long retirement. He had a mission: to settle a score with the world-famous street artist Banksy, who, Robbo believes, had attacked his legacy.

The battle centers on a wall under a bridge on the canal in London’s Camden district. In the fall of 1985—just 15 years old but already a major player in London’s graffiti scene—Robbo announced his presence on that wall with eight tall block letters: ROBBO INC.

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