Is Banksy really in Paris? This has been a hot question online since Sunday, when a website posted photos of street art in Paris strongly resembling the work of the famous, elusive British graffiti artist.
The website, titled “Back to the Roots,” at Banksy-Paris.com, claims Banksy has started a one-month project in the French capital. It resembles a website Banksy set up to promote his New York project earlier this year.
On Monday, photos of the street art also began appearing on the Instagram feed @BanksyParis and the Twitter handle @Banksy_Paris.
The first mural appears at Passage des Postes with the words: “I like wine and baguette, does that mean I’m French?” (Photo above)
The second is from Rue Piémontési in the 18th arrondissement.
(Screenshot from banksy-paris.com)
A video was uploaded to YouTube Tuesday by Banksy-Paris.com showing the artwork:
While photos were spreading on the Internet like wildfire, many of Banksy’s fans said they are fake. French photographer David Chapelle said, however, that the authenticity was confirmed; he received an email from Banksy’s agent.
— David Chapelle (@ChapelleDavid) December 2, 2013
J.D. Beauvallet, a journalist for the French publication Les Inrocks, doesn’t believe the “Back to the Roots” Banksy website is authentic.
— JD Beauvallet (@JDBeauvallet) December 2, 2013
A clearing house that verifies Banksy’s work told Storyful the French website is a fake, according to the Huffington Post.
The Local’s France edition gave further evidence that Bansky’s Paris website may be fake: “Brussels-based IT expert @Amaury noticed certain anomalies in the registration of the Banksy-Paris website, as well as discrepancies between it and its very similar BanksyNY counterpart.”
As an answer to the questions of authenticity, a new Twitter account, @banksyparis, tweeted Monday evening:
Are you sure it is a fake? Do you trust the media? Well, see you tomorrow… #banksyparis
— banksy (@banksyparis) December 2, 2013
A tweet by @banksyparis also complained that Banksy’s New York website is no longer available.
The Huffington Post reported on Monday that Banksy-Paris.com is registered to someone named Nakamura Takehiro in France.
Twitter account @banskyparis answered with the message:
But who’s Takehiro Nakamura? Sayonara
— banksy (@banksyparis) December 3, 2013
After all the speculation, if Banksy really is in Paris, his new project has certainly received much attention. In his aloofness, he often attracts publicity.