Author, academic and television commentator Germaine Greer has come up with a very intelligent suggestion on the subject of graffiti. She has recommended that good ‘aerosol art’ be listed and protected on a points system highlighting the work that is deemed to be outstanding.1 She herself had had direct experience of this as when she acquired a house in North Kensington, London, some 35 years ago; it became embellished, she claims, by ‘a magnificent graffito’. A later refurbishment meant that it became lost. Wall art indeed seems to be given zero tolerance, and floods of highly toxic fluid are liberally dispensed, which, as Greer claims, ends up in the water table via sewers. Greer comes up with the alarming figure that all this remedial work actually costs London ratepayers £100 million per year. As she rightly says, what the cost is here is not actually the art, which always comes free, but its destruction. Boris Johnson might be the man to solve this dilemma.
1. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/visualart/story/0,,2175701,00.html (last accessed 3 October 2007)