The Guardian

Does the Bristol-born graffiti legend have an impersonator in Cumbria?

Matilda Battersby  Wednesday 28 January 2015
The elusive street artist known as Banksy has been less-than elusive in 2015 introducing himself to a schoolboy on a train and popping into a restaurant to admire the décor. But is it really him?

In both cases a man fitting the profile of the legendary graffitist (white, forties, well-spoken English accent) introduced himself as “Robin Banks” another name used by Banksy.

But, according to Banksy’s publicist (who would say that, but would normally refuse to comment if it were true) both stories are complete rubbish and the artist wasn’t anywhere near where they were supposed to have taken place.

“It isn’t true. I don’t know where it has come from, it is really strange,” Jo Brooks said.

Both stories about Robin Banks occurred in Cumbria: the first reported that a schoolboy, Ben Azarya, 14, was given a print which, if original, would be worth around £20,000, by a stranger travelling on the Oxenholme to Penrith train.

The latest “sighting” comes from Cockermouth where Banksy is alleged to have popped into Wild Zucchinis restaurant on 19 January to admire the street art on the walls.

Restaurant owner Manon Plouffe, 48, told The Independent: “He was looking at the décor. We have a bit of graffiti art on the walls. He said ‘that’s funky, I like it’. He said ‘I’m a graffiti artist’.

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