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Last Updated: Monday, 9 August, 2004, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Guerilla artist funds art removal
By Ian Youngs
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Banksy's justice statue
Islington Council removed the 20-foot statue on Friday
"Guerrilla artist" Banksy has agreed to foot the bill for removing a statue he covertly cemented into a London square.

The 20-foot (six-metre) satirical statue protesting at the British legal system was placed in Clerkenwell Green in the early hours of Wednesday.

But it was hoisted out with a crane by Islington Council just two days later.

The council is waiting for it to be collected. "There will be a bill attached to it," a spokeswoman said. Banksy's spokeswoman said he would pay.

She said the elusive artist would send someone to pick it up within days, but would not know the removal cost until they arrived.

It's the most honest depiction of British justice in the capital - I hope it stays there for good
Banksy on Wednesday
She said of the statue: "They might put it somewhere else or they might just sell it."

The monument, called "Trust No-one", was said to have cost 22,000 to construct, was made of solid bronze and weighed three-and-a-half tonnes (3,500kg).

It showed the figure of justice - whose statue overlooks the Old Bailey in London - as a prostitute with leather boots, a thong and a dollar bill stuffed in her garter.

On Wednesday, a message from Banksy said: "This is a brand new monument for London.

"It is dedicated to thugs, bullies, liars, thieves, the corrupt, the arrogant and the stupid. Essentially it is dedicated to the entire British legal system."

Banksy's justice statue
The statue was lifted out of Clerkenwell Green using a crane
He said it was timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the death of Kevin Callan, the lorry driver who was the victim of a miscarriage of justice when he was convicted in 1991 for the murder of a four-year-old child. His conviction was overturned in 1995.

"It's the most honest depiction of British justice currently on display in the capital," Banksy said. "I hope it stays there for good."

Islington Council workers tried to remove it when it first went up, but realised they needed specialist equipment.

"It was removed on Friday morning with a truck and crane," the council spokeswoman said.

"It's being stored at a local facility and we've been in contact with Banksy's agent for them to come and collect it when they see fit."

The statue's scales of justice were reportedly stolen just hours after hundreds of people turned up to see it unveiled.

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