A Banksy artwork painted on the side of Palace Amusements in 2014 has returned to the Kent town six years after its removal for sale in America.
The piece, which has spent five years in storage after failing to attract a buyer, was reinstalled on 17 September, after a legal battle saw Creative Folkestone take ownership of the controversial artwork..
“Art Buff – which shows a woman wearing headphones and an audio tour peering over an empty plinth – was installed in the Old High Street earlier today,” reported Kent Online.
“It comes six years after the work first appeared in the town as part of the 2014 Triennial arts festival, having been painted on the side of Palace Amusements arcade in Payers Park, owned by the Godden family.”
The Goddens had sought to sell Art Buff at the Miami Art Fair, with all proceeds going to a charity in memory of Jimmy Godden, who died in 2012.
The expected £125,000 sale price would have gone towards expanding the Pilgrims Hospice service in Folkestone and opening further Pilgrims Centres in the Shepway area.
However, a 2015 High Court case saw judge Mr Justice Arnold rule that the artwork belonged to the landlord of the building – Creative Folkestone – as opposed to the Goddens.
“We hope Art Buff will be enjoyed by the people of Folkestone in its new home, but please spare a thought for how many lives could have been improved by the same money spent by one person on a piece of graffiti,” commented the family at the time.