An Australian boutique hotel chain is luring guests with the promise of unpenalized grand larceny -- in fact, if a guest successfully steals a Banksy piece from hotel premises, the art is theirs to keep.
The Art Series Hotel group is offering the unconventional Steal Banksy promotion at three separate Melbourne-area properties -- but there is only one piece available for plunder. The prize is Banksy's No Ball Games -- signed by the artist, and valued at approximately $15,000 (US & Australia).
Guests who book a room at The Cullen, The Olsen, or The Blackman will receive a promotional rate and a new chance at a successful heist for every night booked. The hotels are relatively close together -- two are in Melbourne proper and one is in a close suburb -- but guests won't know at which property No Ball Games can be found at any given time.
Because the Art Series Hotel group (not surprisingly) features numerous, valuable works of art as part of its permanent décor, the head of the parent company wasn't immediately sold on the stealing angle.
When they first pitched it to me, I thought, oh God, everyone will be trying to steal every bit of art work, Will Deague, head of Asian Pacific Group, told Artlyst. Then I was worried that people would come in and tear the hotel apart looking for it....I thought someone might think it was up in the ceiling or something.
The promotion's terms and conditions explicitly state that No Ball Games is the only participating work of art, and that guests who damage any of the properties in pursuit of the booty will be responsible for damages. All participants must additionally agree that any images captures by hotel CCTV or photography may be used for promotional purposes without further permission.
The terms and conditions also dictate that Steal Banksy is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the winner.
The promotion began last week and continues through Jan. 15, 2012.