The Bristol Museum just played host to a blockbuster Banksy show, which has apparently got the whole city in a street art frenzy. No matter your opinion of the British street artist turned art market star, he’s led the city of Bristol to create the most progressive and democratic municipal street art policy ever: unless it’s offensive, no piece of art will be removed from Bristol’s streets unless citizens say it should be removed.
There’s been an informal policy to this effect for a few years now, ever since city workers erased a Banksy mural worth about £100,000 in 2007. The city council is expected to review a formal proposal later this month that would create a more official and accessible venue for citizens to voice their opinions of the city’s street art. Whatever your qualms may be regarding people’s taste in street art (will all the old people team up and get every graffiti mural removed?), Bristol’s municipal government is giving every citizen an opportunity to be a discerning art critic, and that is awesome. Obviously, one of New York’s mayoral candidates should make a similar proposal, then we can finally have subway cars covered in graffiti again instead of ads.