Nelson Saiers, the hedge fund manager who
tried to make a deal with Banksyfor Hurricane Sandy relief earlier this month, has decided to
donate $US100,000 to World Visiondespite not hearing back from the street artist.
“On the eve of Sandy, I’ve decided to waive the criterion on Banksy and just donate the money to benefit underprivileged children,” Saiers said to Business Insider.
Saiers wrote a letter earlier this month pledging a $US100,000 donation to Hurricane Sandy relief if Banksy would make a piece in New York City raising awareness for those victims still affected by the storm. In addition to his personal contribution of $US100,000, Saiers says he has received pledges for $US142,000 worth of anonymous donations that will also be given to relief efforts if Banksy does eventually respond.
“At this point, the anonymous donors are waiting to see if you will accept the original offer before donating the remaining $US142,000. As art is subjective, if you have already completed a piece fulfilling the requirement please contact me,” Saiers writes to Banksy on his website.
Banksy is nearing the end of a month-long residency in New York called “Better Out Than In,” and his work has appeared everywhere from Staten Island to the Upper West Side.
Even though it doesn’t directly raise awareness for Hurricane Sandy victims, a recent Banksy work in Coney Island may turn out to be a moneymaker for a man whose property was damaged by the storm.
“Right now I’m just trying to figure out a way to protect it,” Anthony Ruocco said to The New York Post when a stencil of a robot appeared on the side of his building on Monday. Ruocco has owned the property since the 1980s, but flooding from Sandy has kept the building vacant for the past year. The Banksy tag could be good news for Ruocco, as Banksy works have been known to fetch as much as $US1 million at auction.
At this point, it is unclear whether this was the response Saiers was looking for, though Banksy has shown support for victims of other tragedies since he came to New York. He did a stencil of the Twin Towers in Tribeca, and in Greenpoint he did a parody of a rejected New York Times op-ed column complaining about the design of One World Trade Center.
Saiers’ original letter to Banksy reads:
He’s updated his site with the news:
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