Protecting Banksy's Sphinx

BY OLIVER HERZFELD, FORBES IP COUNSEL, OCTOBER 24, 2013 - On Tuesday October 22, 2013, a sculpture of a sphinx made of foam, cement and cinder-blocks appeared on a sidewalk in Queens, New York surrounded by a wide pool of putrid water. On his website, the mysterious and anonymous artist known as Banksy claimed ownership of the work, “Everything but the kitchen Sphinx”, stating: “No turn unstoned. A 1/36 scale replica of the great Sphinx of Giza made from smashed cinderblocks. You’re advised not to drink the replica Arab spring water.” According to the New York Post, an art gallery representative paid the owner of a nearby auto-glass shop, Bernardo Veles, to recruit a team to dismantle the sculpture and load it onto a moving truck that quickly carted it away. Approximately two dozen Banksy fans observed the taking in dismay. One of the members of Mr. Veles’ team sold a brick from the base of the sculpture to a spectator for $100.