In 2011British Artist STIK painted a large mural in Gdansk, Poland with Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art. Afterwards STIK stopped off to make another, collaborative mural with young people from the local community which they titled ‘It’s Complicated’. In 2014 unbeknown to STIK both murals, each painted on a shipping container, went missing and reappeared in a London gallery, cut into pieces and severed at the hands selling at around £30,000 a piece.
The works had been ‘acquired’ by Lamberty Antiques and after STIK publicly condemned the sale, pieces spread to Bankrobber, then Galerie Kronsbein in Germany. One of the young people who had been involved in making the mural, known only as ‘Miss Take’ founder of the collective ‘Graffiti Ladies’, campaigned for the next five years alongside STIK for the return of the mural.
Finally, in 2019 after much campaigning, petitioning and rallying public support an agreement was reached with Lamberty and the young people's community mural was completely recovered and then shipped to Gdansk. The majority of the pieces of the other missing solo mural by STIK were retrieved and destroyed in England by the artist to prevent them re-entering the market and the missing pieces remain listed on teh Art Loss Register.
"I only permit the sale of street artworks when the money goes directly back to the community it was painted for." said STIK who regularly generates funding for charities around the world in this way. Miss Take said "I’m really happy to see the mural coming back to Gdansk, it has been really hard work to get it back where it belongs. Finally!". The mural currently sits in a storage facility on the outskirts of Gdansk hoping to find a more public place to live…
The return of the mural was made possible by Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Boodle Hatfield LLP, Graffiti Ladies, Miss Take, The Institute of Art and Law, Tim Maxwell, Becky Shaw, Rudy Capildeo, Fred Clark, Michael Edenborough QC, Enrico Bonadio, Ania Szynwelska, Jadwiga Charzynska, Alex Herman, Detective George Demetriou, Richard Roberts, Kinga at JLSW, The British Council, Art Loss Register, James Ratcliffe, Flight Logistics, Steve Moxin Riedlin, Russell Perkins, RYCA, Jo Brooks, Urban Art Association, Jack Cerrano, Wayne Anthony, Mikey Dread, Robin Phillips, Claude Crommelin, Ana Laurini, Kilburn Strode, Carrollanne Lindley, Anthony Haden-Guest, Lois Stavsky, Jack Cerrano, Printspace, Change.org, Giles Angel, Sheila Chandra, Grayson Perry, SOSM, Mariusz Jaksik, Hackney Citizen, Hackney Gazette, Vandalog, Graffiti Street, The Art Newspaper, Melanie Gerlis, DACS, Evelinka, RSH, Richard, Invader, Clet Abraham, Artscore, Mr. Simon, Ling Mann, Emiliano, Kevin, New Waverly Studios and everyone who signed the petition.