Source of Photograph: http://tinyurl.com/lktewg4
In February 2011, British graffiti artist Banksy saw an abandoned water tank on the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, California, and he decided that it was a good spot for his graffiti, so he painted on it “THIS LOOKS A BIT LIKE AN ELEPHANT.” When most graffiti artists paint something, it’s vandalism, but when Banksy paints something, it’s art — and worth a lot of money. The water tank became a tourist attraction, and a local design firm bought it from its owner: the city of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, a homeless man was living inside the water tank, and he was forced to move. The man, Tachowa Covington, had outfitted the water tank with lights, security cameras, pictures, and a TV. Police knew that Mr. Covington was squatting in the water tank, but they left him alone. Mr. Covington said, “I was nothing but an asset to the community; I was not a threat. That’s why the police and everybody let me live in that tank for so long.” When Banksy discovered that Mr. Covington had been forced to move out of the water tank, he gave him enough money to pay his bills — including rent for a real apartment — for an entire year. Mr. Covington said, “There ain’t no better man than Banksy. He was an angel to me. He helped me more than anybody helped me in my life.” Banksy has declined to acknowledge that he did the lettering on the water tank, and the design firm that bought the water tank and moved it to a warehouse and sought a buyer for it ended up sending it to a scrapheap.
For Further Information: Megan Willett, “A Fantastic Story About How Graffiti Artist Banksy Helped A Homeless Man.” Business Insider. Yahoo! Finance. 30 July 2013
For Further Information: Tim Walker, “The water tank, the Banksy prank, and the later life of the homeless ‘elephant man’ Tachowa Covington.” The Independent (UK). 29 July 2013
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