Someone claiming to be the person who vandalized two Banksy graffiti pieces along Main Street just before New Year's has posted a video online purporting to show him as he attacked one of the artworks.
The video was posted to YouTube on Jan. 4 by a person identified as Ricardo Cabeza. It is headlined "Park City, Utah Banksy Kneeling Angel Boy Destruction Video." It had received 74 views by Friday morning. Nobody had given the video a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down by then.
In a written statement that appears with the video, the person who posted it calls the Banksy pieces "vandalism spray paint." The statement also challenges the dollar figure of the damage to the pieces reported in the media, estimated to run into the thousands of dollars.
"The only thing done was Ricardo's art which is spray paint over top of Banksy's vandalism spray paint. They are such hypocrites out in Park City because for the first year people lobbied to have the graffiti removed. Now since they're making money on tourism they embraced this dangerous tagger who is hoping to subvert this free United States and replace it with a communist dictatorship," the statement says.
One of the Banksy pieces, an image of a videographer filming a flower, is on the Java Cow building on Main Street. The other one, an image of a boy kneeling in prayer, is on the Cunningham Building garage steps off Main Street. The image on the garage suffered terrible damage as the perpetrator smashed through the glass covering and then spray-painted on top of the Banksy work.
The statement apologizes to the owner of the garage where the image of the praying boy is located. The statement offers the garage owner a "life size replica of the painting that looks exactly like it which can last for 600 years instead of a measly 5 more years. And you wouldn't need glass to protect that! Just lock the building its in!"
It says a man named "Rick," perhaps Cabeza, "is a way better artist than Banksy, so he can easily match and duplicate his style exactly. This is not bragging."
Someone identifying themselves as Cabeza took credit for the attacks on the Park City Banksy pieces in a message posted Jan. 6 to an online New York Times article about the damage.
Rick Ryan, a Park City Police Department captain, said investigators consider the four-minute, eight-second video authentic. Ryan said a Salt Lake City person e-mailed him a link to the video on Monday. Ryan said it is "pretty clear" that the video shows the vandalism as it is occurring.
"What you don't see is his face. He makes sure he keeps his face covered and hidden," Ryan said.
Ryan declined to discuss how the posting of the video could help the investigation. He said the police will attempt to identify the person in the video and indicated Ricardo Cabeza could be an alias. He said he was surprised that the video surfaced. It is the best lead thus far in the case, Ryan said.
"He rambles so much. He's all over the page . . . I have a hard time pinning down what he's really trying to say," Ryan said.
The video says the person is an oil painter and a "multimedia artistic performer." The person shooting the video moves in darkness from a garage to the location of the Banksy piece of the kneeling boy on the Cunningham Building garage. There are written messages interspersed in the video.
"Banksy is a sham and his works won't even last one generation. They are vandalism and illegal and need to all be destroyed," one of the messages says in part.
It is difficult to see in the video the person inflicting the actual damage. The video shows a shadowy figure's movements, but there is little identifiable, including the Banksy pieces themselves.
Banksy created the pieces in Park City as the 2010 Sundance Film Festival started. He was featured in a documentary in that year's festival.
People with information about the vandalism may contact the Police Department at 615-5500 or the department's anonymous-tip line, 615-5847. The department also operates an online tip form. The address is: