New Orleans - Banksy
John S. Stokes III - Custom Puzzle Craft
Home New Orleans Katrina

In September 2010 I went to New Orleans. My trip to New Orleans had three goals: first was to visit relatives, second to tour sections of the city I had toured in June 2006 (10 months after Katrina) to get a sense of the state of recovery, and third to search out the remaining Banksy street art works from August of 2008 which were still present. Locating the Banksy works which I saw when I visited in 2010 was with much appreciated help from the Times-Picayune art writer Doug MacCash introduced via my sister Stephanie.

I published some of the photographs Stephanie and I took of the Banksy New Orleans works here and have occasionally updated the descriptions and images as they have changed over time. On July 10, 2013, I decided to do a major re-organization of this page to better present how the Banksy pictures have fared since they were first rendered back in August 2008. With the recovery of New Orleans since the devastation by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005, each work presents a microcosm of the recovery and the problems which remain in the specific locations. On February 25, 2014, I updated New Orleans Umbrella Girl, Scared Girl and Mouse, and Looters for recent developments. On September 13, 2016 Stephanie took pictures of the three remaining works still in their original locations and the four additional locations still remaining from which the works have been either removed or painted over.

In early December 2017, I updated this page to discuss the restored Looters work and the problems encountered during the restoration.

Banksy painted 17 works in 16 locations which I know about. One of them, which I named New Orleans Umbrella Girl was featured as the image for the 85th puzzle of the 100 Puzzles Project. I cut this puzzle in December 2008, several months after Banksy painted the work and auctioned it in January 2009.

This then is a photographic history of the 17 works. Most early pictures were obtained from the "Internet" in year 2010, and are noted as such, later pictures were taken either by Stephanie who lives in New Orleans or myself, with attribution noted. In March 2014, inspired by a request from Infrogmation of New Orleans, I undertook a project to identify and attribute the sources of the pictures I took from the "Internet" in the early going. I was successful in identifying quite a few. All of these images are now attributed and have links to the originals. If any of these are yours and you wish any to be removed, please contact me and I'll remove the pictures along with the links to your articles or photos as soon as possible. There are, still, a bunch of early pictures which I cannot find again on the Internet. Each one is noted and is accompanied by an email link with the specific image as the subject. If you find one which is yours please contact me for proper attribution (and hopefully not a request for removal).

1. New Orleans Umbrella Girl: status - visible in place - under Plexiglas

Puzzle #821 - New Orleans Umbrella Girl
Source image picture used for this wooden jigsaw puzzle was taken on September 9, 2008 by Stephanie, prior to the installation of a Plexiglas cover

puzzle821 figurals
Puzzle #821 - Figurals - Special jigsaw pieces for this puzzle include a Spray Can puzzle piece, and a "B" shaped puzzle piece for Banksy (both pieces located in the upper left of the first picture)
For non-puzzlers who came here to see Banksy pictures, excuse this little detour, these pieces were hand cut using a scroll saw from a piece of plywood with the picture previously glued on.

Another Umbrella Girl picture taken by Stephanie on September 9, 2008

Picture taken by me on September 12, 2010 - now there is Plexiglas over the image, bushes removed, more boarding up

Picture taken by Stephanie on May 24, 2011 - Umbrella Girl has a friend

The friend is gone, and Umbrella Girl still stands diminutively amongst the big graffiti and a building which looks like it is ready for the wrecking ball
A boy was painted on the wall cornering the Umbrella Girl sometime after my 2010 visit.
Picture taken by Stephanie on July 10, 2013

On December 31, 2013 the Plexiglas was broken and red paint was sprayed over the lower portion of the image. This event was documented by the NOLA DEFENDER. Later in the day the paint was successfully removed over the important parts of the image. The Plexiglas was not restored.

Red spray paint on Umbrella Gird
© 2013 Nola Defender

On February 21, 2014, in a phenomenally brazen event, four men built a plywood barricade around the work, and then within the barricade and armed with power tools, attempted to remove the work. According to several sources, a crowd of people was attracted and when the men were challenged, they fled before finishing their work.

This picture, taken by Charlie Varley of, appeared in The New Orleans Advocate.
The Advocate story link ( ) does not work as of December 5, 2017

My sister, by fortune, was able to get behind the plywood barrier on February 25 via a temporary opening and take a bunch of pictures! New Orleans Umbrella Girl (also known as "Rain Girl") looks to be in very good condition!

Umbrella Girl survives another attack
Picture by Stephanie, February 25, 2014, "behind the plywood"

Umbrella Girl status February 25, 2014
Pictures by Stephanie (some cropped)
That boy which was located to the right of the Umbrella Girl, immediately around the corner had been painted over

Who Dat?
A costume for New Orleans Mardi Gras 2014

Building damage repaired
Processed screen grab from drive by video taken by Stephanie, June 25, 2014

Umbrella Girl - Picture taken by me on October 3, 2014
Folk hanging out by the still forlorn Drop-In Center

Umbrella Girl - Picture taken by Stephanie on September 13, 2016
Surrounded by turbulence, she hangs in there

2. Abraham Lincoln with Push Cart: status - destroyed - building demolished after picture painted over

Picture taken on October 7, 2009 by Duncan Hill, see dullhunk

Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - Some of the color is chipping off in Lincoln's mid-section, graffiti text added

Lincoln painted over.
Picture taken December 10, 2010 by anthony turducken, see anothonyturducken

Building demolished and replaced - picture by Stephanie, July 10, 2013, arrow added - the painting faced towards the left
Major new construction here - LSU Medical Center - very unlikely the picture was saved

3. Scared Girl and Mouse: status - destroyed - building demolished after picture damaged and partially painted over

This photo was probably taken in September 2008
I cannot find the source link for this picture. If it is yours please contact me

Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - Bricks have been thrown chipping the image of the girl
At the mouse, the plaster under the tail and near the whiskers have been chipped out

Picture taken by Stephanie on May 23, 2013

Gone! Unlikely the artwork was salvaged. Anybody have any documentation of the demolition?
Picture taken by Stephanie on February 25, 2014

4. Gray Ghost Attacks Flowers: Status - partially visible in place - left side painted over, remainder under Plexiglas

Picture taken August 26, 2008 by anthony turducken, see anothonyturducken

Picture taken August 27, 2008 by toaminorplace, see toaminorplace
It is felt Banksy came back shortly afterward to put more emphasis on Gray Ghost's destructive personality
Is it 100% certain Banksy did the paint over? In my opinion the paint-over is a lot like the effect done by Banksy in the Boy Painting Flowers image he later painted over with Refrigerator Kite

Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - This was one of Banksy's responses to "the Gray Ghost" known for painting over street art in New Orleans with gray paint
This painting has been inexplicably covered over on the left side with the dark pink paint. The rest is covered with Plexiglas
Originally when the Plexiglas was put up, the unprotected portion remained to the left for a while and was defaced with graffiti.

Picture taken by Stephanie on May 23, 2013
Plexiglas has proven to work well so far.....

Picture taken by Stephanie on September 13, 2016
Plexiglas continues to hold up well - just a touch more staining along the top

5. Gray Ghost Attacks Stick Figure: status - visible in place - under Plexiglas

Picture taken by Doug MacCash - published on September 24, 2008
Obtained from article by James Gill, see
The gray on the wall was already there when Banksy started this work - there from the Gray Ghost

Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - Banksy stick art figure reacting to being painted over by a Banksy portrayal of the Gray Ghost.
Covered with Plexiglas, greenish mold covering Stick Figure's lower left leg

Picture taken by Stephanie on May 23, 2013

Picture taken by Stephanie on September 13, 2016
Looks a bit faded but still intact - some of the concrete has been peeled off from by bricks
The red pipe to the right wasn't there originally

6. Simpsons boy: status - covered in place by tarp and plywood - condition unknown

Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - This work still in nearly pristine condition at this time

Picture taken by Stephanie on July 9, 2013
There is plastic sheeting between the painting and the wood. Condition of work unknown.
The owner wants to demolish the building, but is waiting for a buyer of the work!.

Around late 2013 or early 2014 this work was being offered for sale by the Kezler Gallery in the U.K., the same Gallery which sold the pilfered Turtle. See Kezler. The asking price at one time was $500,000 plus cost to move the wall. As of October 3, 2014 the boarded up work was still there.

Picture taken by Stephanie on September 13, 2016
Three years later - still boarded up - but now three vertical boards instead of four horizontal boards
Is the image still there?

7. The Marching Band: status - destroyed - building demolished after picture painted over

Very few photos of this work were taken, the work was quickly painted over.
I cannot find the source link for this picture found on the Internet. in this exact size or larger - if it is yours please contact me

Detail (angle slightly different than the first widely propagated picture)
Picture taken on August 25, 2008 by Rex Dingler, see Rex Dingler

Marching Band Painted Over
Picture taken on September 9, 2008 by Preservation Resource Center, see Preservation Resource Center

Note: this work was painted over on August 28 or 29, 2008 and the building torn down in February 2010 according to photo sequences at anothonyturducken
The story goes that the owner of the building had this major work painted over, obviously ignorant of its value. The Gray Ghost did not do this.

Wow - how things have changed! Picture taken by Stephanie on July 9, 2013
The tilted telephone pole and the stop sign are about the only clues the location is the same

8. Looters: status - removed and considerably restored off site - after being mostly painted over and then covered with Plexiglas

This one was controversial as the National Guard were held in higher esteem than this.

The window the soldier is climbing out of is fake, painted onto the building - this picture was cropped from a picture taken on August 29, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see infrogmation
Shortly after Looters was painted, it was covered with plywood. By mid September 2008 the plywood was ripped off

There were many phases of defacement before the work was covered with Plexiglas. Reportedly the original artwork was coated with a clear "barrier coat" by the building's owner before any defacement occurred to aid in future restoration if needed.

DatNolaSam on September 12, 2008
From a Times-Picayune article by Doug MacCash, October 1, 2008
liamcross23 on November 1, 2008

anthony turducken November 7, 2008
DatNolaSam on November 10, 2008
John d'Addario on December 2, 2008

nolamiksang on January 25, 2009
nicolarch on March 3, 2009

camagenyc on July 10, 2009
Jay Kullman on November 29, 2009
sam horine on February 26, 2010

LAGsecondline on July 11, 2010
John d'Addario on November 29, 2010

Microsoft Bing on March 6, 2012
The photo gap from November 2010 to July 2013 filled here by a street-side image grabbed from Bing on December 3, 2017
The Plexiglas first discovered here in the July 10, 2013 photo is already visible here
The shopping cart image now damaged and has a white figure 8 inside - was it first sprayed on top and then the shopping cart wires redrawn?

More graffiti on the Plexiglas - Picture taken by Stephanie on July 10, 2013
Just the top of the fake window and the bottom of the shopping cart can be seen

In late January 2014, the owners of the building successfully removed the heavily sprayed artwork for possible restoration
Photo © 2014 Doug MacCash / | The Times-Picayune
Reference link here.

Outer surface of the building restored. The site has undergone many iterations of spray painting
Picture taken by Stephanie on February 25, 2014

Looters site - Picture taken by Stephanie on September 13, 2016
An image on Google Map Street View shows that the building was sold by April 2017

Looters Restoration

On November 18, 2017 Sean Cummings and Hill Harper, co-owners of the removed "Looters" work, unveiled the restoration of the work undertaken over several years to bring back the work as an "authentic architectural artifact".  The combined stresses of age, numerous paint-overs, poster glue-overs, removing the work on 1200 pounds of building plaster, transporting, unloading, placing the work, reinforcing the work with backing material, a major fire, several iterations of restoration / conservancy work - all of this made bringing the work to its original state impossible - rather the goal was to restore and preserve this artistic message of Banksy's world famous satire and dark humor.

All pictures of the restoration project received before the unveiling on November 18, 2017 were kept in confidence until now, December 2, 2017.

In most if not all cases I have reduced the size of the photos, some may be cropped and some may be brightened or otherwise contrasted to bring out hidden details. During the course of communications subsequent from the first update here of December 2, 2017 I will add details as they emerge or remove things if so desired. Note: I added a newly obtained older photo, above, dated March 6, 2012.

The restoration / conservation effort occurred in three phases.

First phase

The first phase was unintended circumstance. About six months after the work was removed from the building on Elysian Fields Avenue in the Marigny section of New Orleans to the New Orleans Conservation Guild on Royal Street, there was a four-alarm fire in the area which destroyed other artwork and restoration projects. Fortunately, the Looters work was stored outside the building, away from the immediate area of flames, under tarp awaiting restoration. Sean Cummings arrived on the scene while the firefighters were subduing the fire and requested that attention be directed to protecting the work. Sean credits the New Orleans Fire Department with saving the work.

Left - Being saved by a fire fighter, Right - condition after the fire - OK! Photos provided by Sean Cummings
That white figure 8 which appears to be inside the shopping cart confirmed here to be done on the work itself, before the Plexiglas was installed.

Second phase

Looters was moved to an artist's studio in Arabi, Louisiana just east of New Orleans [working on getting the date]. Michael Davidson, a masonry specialist further stabilized the work and with help, using a "Tornado ACS micro particle machine that uses small micron sized soft plastic media (not silica)" was able to ablate through layers of the paint and poster glue. Although the original work was almost immediately protected with a "barrier coat" by the Elysian Field Avenue building owners, the coating was not good enough to fully withstand the ablation process of the outer layers of paint-over and at some point a decision was made to stop this method.

Michael Davidson's work was done in two multi-day sessions separated by, I think, a couple years (2014 and 2016)? It wasn't until the second period that the work was further secured to prevent further cracking.

Looters - Emergence of the soldiers - Picture provided by Britney Penouilh, taken August 1, 2014
The TV is going to be hard!

Crack damage at the boom box - Picture provided by Michael Davidson

Looters in Arabi, LA - Michael Davidson (background) and helper work to remove coating at the back of the shopping cart - Photo provided by Sean Cummings
The National Guardsmen have begun to emerge. The bottom part of that "white eight" is still "in" the shopping cart

Looters in Arabi, LA - Work setup - Photo provided by Sean Cummings
Note that a dark drip mark to the left of the shopping cart handle is now gone

In May 2015 I received an update from a studio visitor about the restoration of "Looters" at the studio in Arabi, LA. A picture taken of the restoration dated March 26, 2015 was provided. In this picture the TV set image has improved and a small section of that "white eight" in the shopping cart has been removed. Thus the prior pictures must date prior to March 26, 2015.

Looters restoration as of March 26, 2015 at the studio in Arabi, LA - Photo 2015 Debra Chojnacky
This picture withheld until after the unveiling on November 18, 2017

Looter restoration work hand-off - Photo provided by Sean Cummings
Michael Davidson on left, Elise Grenier on right
At lot more work had been done! The National Guardsmen, TV set, shopping cart and boom box all substantially improved
The forklift has stood up the work from the wooden backing perhaps getting ready for the move from the Arabi studio to Elise's workplace

Third Phase

After Michael Davidson's work in Arabi, Looters was moved back to the Marigny section of New Orleans inside a large undisclosed warehouse under the direction of Elise Grenier, hired by Sean Cummings to continue the restoration. According to Doug MacCash "Grenier is an authority on fine art conservation, with extensive experience restoring historical murals in Louisiana as well as Renaissance frescoes in Florence."

Elisa documented the state of the work and her approach subsequently taken [slightly edited]:

(1) Some fragments of overpainting were still present on the surface and obscured important details of the composition, interfering with legibility.
(2) In other areas, some abrasion and loss of original material were responsible for the loss of details.
(3) Some lesions had developed in a vertical and horizontal pattern, and the mural has suffered minor losses of material, and blistering of the paint strata.

Due to the solubility of the spray paint used by the artist, a predominantly mechanical method was adopted to remove the layers of overpainting by the conservator. Most solvents that would dissolve overpainting would also dissolve the original spray-paint as well, so much caution is required when using solvents.

Areas of further recovery were tested with varying strength solutions of M.E.K. in a gel support to prolong contact time. Removal of overpainting was then subsequently carried out with mechanical method (via surgical scalpel ) and neutralized with mineral spirits to eliminate residue of M.E.K

Some areas already abraded due to recovery, or else too delicate to sustain further intervention, could be selectively reconstructed via non- invasive, reversible, undetectable pictorial reintegration using conservation- approved pigments to recover the desired legibility.

How successful was the total restoration? I have taken the final state as provided by Elise and compared it to the original, the state after removal, and the state it was when Elise took over. I had to do extensive warping and skewing of the images so they can be compared at scale.

Looters Restoration Phases
Upper Left - As painted by Banksy - from the crucial infrogmation photo
Upper Right - As removed - (image un-skewed)
Lower Lower - After Michael Davidson's work - (image un-skewed, looking for a full photo)
Lower Right - After Elise Grenier's work

I do think that the spirit of the original work has been restored. And given the horrific state of the work before it was removed, the work is remarkable! There are some picky issues:

Looters Restoration Phases - digital forensics
The soldier on the left had his canteen seriously damaged and it remained that way
TV controls gone and restored differently
Soldier on the right has left hand fingers changed, left side of shirt shortened, definition of bottom left forearm enhanced
But still .... despite all the major damage from the many layers of graffiti and the difficulty removing them - the work is now most certainly an "authentic architectural artifact" and with a deeper history!

References. Beside very helpful communications and documentation with / by Sean Cummings and Elise Grenier there are several links for more in depth coverage


# # #

9. Trumpet Boy #1: status - removed - building demolished AFTER removal of work - location of work unknown

Trumpet Boy #1, picture found on the Internet. If this is yours please contact me

Trumpet Boy #1 - From an article by "staff" dated September 18, 2008
Story link ( ) not working as of December 5, 2017

Gone. Cut out from the wall of the house! - From an article by "staff" dated September 18, 2008
Story link ( ) not working as of December 5, 2017

Only the stairs remain - Picture taken by Stephanie on July 10, 2013
Somewhere, someone has Trumpet Boy #1

10. Trumpet Boy #2: status - unknown! - building demolished

Trumpet Boy #2, Photo taken by Stephanie on May 13, 2011

Trumpet Boys 1 & 2 compared with some adjustment for different camera angles

Trumpet Boy #2 location, Photo by Stephanie May 13, 2011
I had refrained from posting this picture until now (July 10, 2013) to help protect this lesser known painting

Gone - Picture taken by Stephanie on July 10, 2013
Was the painting salvaged? If you know, please contact me

11. Levee Boy Losing Umbrella: status - in place painted over - candidate for restoration?

Image from Internet. If this is yours please contact me

Levee Boy Losing Umbrella detail
Picture taken September 18, 2008 by anthony turducken, see anothonyturducken

Quite a bit of other graffiti appeared around the Banksy work and was then painted over well before the Levee Boy work itself was painted over.
Photo taken by Stephanie on May 13, 2011

12. Turtle with Hard Hat Shell: status - removed - building demolished AFTER removal of work

Removal of Turtle with Hard Hat Shell must have happened quickly as this is the only original picture I've seen on the Internet.
In searching for this picture for attribution, I could not find it again, only some cropped versions with the left-hand column cropped out.
If this is yours please contact me

I did find one cropped version of the same photo with higher resolution
From an article by "staff" dated September 18, 2008 (the turtle had already been removed)
Story link ( ) not working as of December 5, 2017

Gone - Picture taken by Stephanie on May 24, 2011

After the Turtle was removed it was allegedly sold on eBay via auction #220702354278 as "Hard-Hat Turtle". It sold for $5,700 on December 1, 2010. I later obtained detailed auction pictures and determined that the Turtle sold on eBay was a fake. The door panel on which the fake turtle was painted was on a similar door panel cleverly altered to look like the damaged real one. The real turtle showed up at the Kezler Gallery in the U. K. and was later sold after several years, probably in 2013. The title of the turtle work at Kezler was "Slow Progress". The Kezler asking price had been $40,000 at one time. If you know for how much, please contact me

Anatomy of a fake - initial investigation
Top picture archived from eBay
The bottom turtle is from the photograph of the door in place, see above
The forger(s) likely only had access to a low resolution picture and had to guess about the shell

Anatomy of a fake - follow-up work
Top picture from a scaled / rotated image from eBay auction #220702354278
Bottom Turtle from artnet - see artnet, and see Kezler
Obviously many differences

Gone - Picture taken by Stephanie on July 9, 2013

13. Rat with Broom: status - removed

Rat with Broom in place
Picture cropped from photo taken on August 29, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see infrogmation

Detail - The Rat is wearing an apron
Picture from Internet - the original filename was "banksnolarip2.jpg" - If this is yours please contact me

Picture from an article by nick burcher, dated September 22, 2008, see nick burcher
I once came across a reference (do not have link) saying that the Rat with Broom image was sold on eBay. If you have any info about this please contact me.

Rat with Broom house refurbished
Picture taken April 11, 2009 by anthony turducken, see anothonyturducken

Rat with Broom house - more than seven years later!
Picture taken by Stephanie on September 13, 2016
Some deterioration with the stairs now a dirty blue and the door finish not visible behind an added iron gate
Also a light has been added as well as house number and mailbox, and a few other minor changes plus a wooden gate to the right


14. Boy on Life Preserver Swing: status - destroyed - building demolished after picture painted over

Boy on Life Preserver Swing
Picture taken August 28, 2008 by a boxcar named ruin, see aBoxcarNamedRuin

Unknown man destroying the work
Picture taken September 17, 2008 by mags, see artbymags

Photo taken September 18, 2008 by Keith Spera / The Times-Picayune, see Times-Picayune

Building gone - the building was on the slab to the right
Picture taken by Stephanie on July 10, 2013

15. Boy Painting Flowers Stalked by Grey Ghost: status - in place painted over by another Banksy

This image was painted by Banksy as another Gray Ghost jab, but according to Doug, Banksy decided the image was too trite. Banksy whitewashed the work and then painted a second work on top as a boy flying a refrigerator like a kite (in Katrina's high winds). As this wall contained two Banksy images, one of top of the other, there were 17 Banksy's done in New Orleans, but at 16 locations! I preferred the first one.

Boy Painting Flowers with the Gray Ghost stalking right behind him graying them out
I had found an uncropped version of this picture at but the link no longer works.
The Gray Ghost had been blotting out works for years and Banksy came to New Orleans "to do battle"

In my opinion Banksy did not finish this work before deciding to paint it over
The Gray Ghost on the left side of this study is from "Gray Ghost Attacks Stick Figure" (flipped horizontally), and the one on the right from "Gray Ghost Attacks Flowers"
The one in the center does not have the white highlighting added - which for the other two was apparently done without a stencil judging by the differences in paint strokes

16. Refrigerator Kite: status - in place painted over - candidate for restoration?

The Boy Painting Flowers work (see #15 above) was replaced by Banksy within perhaps two days by this one
From a picture taken on August 29, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see Infrogmation
See the tire? A faint shadow of the Gray Ghost is still visible above it

I applied extreme contrast using Photoshop with the previous picture to reveal the Ghost

Gone (that's a different tire!) - Picture taken by me on September 16, 2010
Faint clues of the second image still remain (see below)

With extreme Photoshop contrast, the kite boy's feet can be seen to the left of the tire and the tail of the kite to the far right.
Maybe the building owner will someday attempt restore the outer image?

Refrigerator Kite location - Picture taken by Stephanie on September 13, 2016
Six years later - building still there - lots of graffiti

Comparison of Refrigerator Kite boy with flipped and rotated Levee Boy Losing Umbrella boy

17. No Loitering: status - destroyed - building demolished after picture painted over

Doug said that the No Loitering text was on the building prior to Banksy's work
Picture taken on August 27, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see infrogmation

No Loitering - Detail
Picture taken on August 28, 2008 by Infrogmation of New Orleans, see infrogmation

Picture taken by me on September 13, 2010 - The Gray Ghost got this one - apparently the only New Orleans Banksy destroyed by him. A tiny bit of the bottom of the rocking chair is still visible.

Date & source unknown - If this is yours please contact me

Building gone - Picture taken by Stephanie on July 9, 2013
Was an attempt made to salvage the work?

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© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter