A settlement between British street artist STIK and Gallery owner Andrew Lamberty has been signed this week after some years’ negotiation for the return of a community mural painted as part of the 2011 Brit-Cult festival at Łaznia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk, Poland.
The 150ft (45metre) mural painted on steel shipping containers, featuring dozens of people holding hands and interacting, was painted in collaboration with young people from the area who had dubbed the piece ‘It’s Complicated’. STIK was unaware that the mural had been removed until several sections of the mural which had been cut in 29 places were spotted in Lamberty’s London Gallery in 2015 by which time several of the pieces had already been sold. STIK states that he did not authenticate this sale and only authenticates the sale of public artworks when it is for the benefit of the community. The young people who collaborated with STIK on the artwork asked Lamberty in an open letter to return the mural.
Andrew Lamberty,responded with the following statement:
‘It became apparent to me that this important work needed to be returned to Gdansk, where it belongs. It has been a lengthy process retrieving the components from different sources. We now potentially have a happy artist and a happy local community, which is a happy result’”.
In recognition, STIK has agreed to assist with the restoration of the mural which is planned to be unveiled at its original location at Łaznia Centre for Contemporary Art in July 2019.