Some of Banksy's most well-known pieces, including a portrait of Mona Lisa armed with a portable rocket launcher and prints featuring supermodel Kate Moss, have reportedly been ensured for 10 million pounds. The exhibition in Moscow runs through September 2nd.
Radio Sputnik talked about Banksy and the first ever display of his work in Moscow with Alexander Nachkebia, the director of the exhibition.
Sputnik: Could you give us a bit of insight into the significance of this exhibition and why it was only now that you were able to organize this?easy barriers grow up for us day by day. Without taking sides, I think it's very important for Russians to feel themselves as part of Europe and the world community. So in this sense, I think that our exhibition is a very significant and important event in the cultural life of Russia, not only Moscow but the whole of Russia. And I also think that the fact that the Banksy exhibition is taking place in Moscow will be a good signal for the countries around Russia. That Russia is a member of the European family because very few capitals in the world, in Europe can boast that they hosted a Banksy exhibition. And although I know that many would like to do so. So I'm very happy to contribute to strengthening the image of Moscow and Russia as one of the capitals of the art world and especially contemporary art.
Sputnik: There seems to be quite a lot of public interest, large lines. What's been the public response? Are you happy with this as much as you expected it to be?
Alexander Nachkebia: Yes, we're very happy as you have seen yesterday and the day before yesterday there was a big line to the exhibition. It shows that Banksy's art is really comprehensive and he really uses very clean, very understandable images that touch the hearts and souls of all people. And that's why people respond to it in that way. We are very happy with the number of people that are coming to the exhibition at this time.
Sputnik: Can you perhaps give us some insight into the number of works that you have displayed. How many of those works are actually originals that exist in a single example? Because a lot of things that Banksy made have quite a bit of…some prints that have perhaps one thousand copies and you have just one of them. Tell us about what was on exhibit.
Sputnik: Is this an exhibition where you're able to purchase any of the items? I mean are any of the items for sale?
Alexander Nachkebia: No, at this time no. After the exhibition we will leave Russia, there will be an opportunity for the collectors from Russia to purchase some of the items, but until the collection leaves Russia, no. We have a lot of obligational documents that we have signed that the collection comes to Russia and leaves Russia as it was formed in London.
Sputnik: How long will the exhibition be continuing in Moscow at the Central House of Artists?
Alexander Nachkebia: In the Central House of Artists the exhibition will stay here until the 2nd of September. That will be the last day of the exhibition working in Moscow. Then the exhibition goes to St. Petersburg for a couple of months and will stay there until the 4th of November. Then it leaves Russia and goes to several European cities.
Sputnik: So, it will we be going to European cities as well, the same collection, is that correct?
Alexander Nachkebia: Yes, the same collection, the same production will go to Italy, to Spain, to Paris, to France, and it will go to Belgium after Russia.
Sputnik: You worked with Banksy's team on this project. Have you managed to get any ideas who might be behind Banksy personality?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.