Uni student nabs Banksy’s honorary certificate during graduation ceremony
‘There’s no reason that I’m not Banksy’, he said
During his graduation ceremony, a uni student nicked Banksy’s certificate of honorary professorship.
University for the Creative Arts grad Ben Wray, 23, nabbed the artist’s award which was presented during the ceremony.
Banksy, who was given the award for his “humanitarian efforts and the impact he has had on the global arts scene”, is famously anonymous and was not at the ceremony, and the award was left on the seat which was reserved for the artist.
Ben, who studied film and digital art, took the award from Banksy’s seat, and now has it framed in his bedroom as a “story for the grandkids”.
He says Banksy’s Instagram account acknowledged his post about about it by liking the post – only to remove the like seconds later.
Ben says that during the ceremony he’d been thinking about how to make his walk “more memorable” – before noticing the seat reserved for Banksy at the front of the hall.
The uni accidentally forgot to call Ben’s name and he was told to wait backstage until the end, but managed to convince a steward to let him back in to watch the rest of the ceremony, until it was his time to go on.
Ben said: “The uni took a break and did a speech about Banksy and his humanitarian efforts.
“They awarded him with an honorary professorship, and placed the scroll on his chair on stage. Immediately I thought ‘that’s it! I’ve got to do it.’ If I’m not getting my certificate in a normal way then I’m going to have to get one myself.”
When Ben’s name was called, he walked across the stage and swiped the scroll off the seat. He says he quickly left the stage and hid in the audience, hiding the scroll in the sleeve of his graduation robe.
He said: “It took two seconds for the crowd to register what had happened but they were cheering me on and I had students coming up and congratulating me.”
In response to a potential backlash from the university, Ben said: “There’s no reason that I’m not Banksy.
“Also, I don’t know what they would have done with the scroll – it’s unlikely they know Banksy’s address – so it would have just been stored somewhere.”
Featured image via SWNS