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Everything Banksy does is surrounded in air of mystery and controversy, but none of his works hold a candle to the situation that caused him to open a store in the Croydon area of London. A year ago, an unnamed greeting card company started litigation to take over the trademark to Banksy’s name because, as his lawyer stated, “he doesn’t produce his own range of shoddy merchandise and the law is quite clear—if the trademark holder is not using the mark, then it can be transferred to someone who will.” So what’s the most famous contemporary artist to do? Open a shop and showroom called Gross Domestic Product that will sell everything from a signed spray paint can and a welcome mat from salvaged life vests, to a house brick handbag. In traditional Banksy fashion, there are some twists. The doors to the shop will never open, but the lights will remain on 24/7. All items on display will be sold online with “the proceeds from these products will go towards buying a new migrant rescue boat… So you may well be committing a criminal offense by purchasing them.” When the products do go live on the Gross Domestic Product site, expect everything to sell out instantly.


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