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University for the Creative Arts to make Banksy an honorary professor

The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has announced they will honour the lifetime achievements of Bristol artist Banksy by making him an honorary professor.

The street artist and political activist is being recognised for “his humanitarian efforts and the impact he has had on the global arts scene,” the UCA has stated.

Banksy’s Honorary Professorship will be conferred during the UCA graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London next Wednesday. However, Banksy will not be in attendance at the ceremony in accordance with his desire to remain anonymous. In respect of the artist’s anonymity, the honour will be conferred to an empty chair. 

Professor Bashir Makhoul, UCA’s President and Vice-Chancellor, said in a statement: “Joining a long list of illustrious creatives who have received Honorary Awards from the University for the Creative Arts, Banksy is one of the UK’s best-known artists, famous throughout the world – an example that UCA students can look up to, who uses his talents to disrupt the status quo, while challenging us all to confront some of the key issues of our time: war and peace, inequality, and art’s role as a vehicle of social expression”.

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Speaking to BBC Radio Surrey, Professor Terry Perk, UCA’s assistant vice-chancellor, said that the university had contacted Banksy through his representatives, and he had “acknowledged our intention” to confer the honorary award.

In other Banksy-related news, back in May, a councillor in Wales resigned from his post following rumours that he is the elusive Banksy

The 58-year-old councillor William Gannon insisted in a statement to The Telegraph at the time: “There’s no truth in it whatsoever, I am not Banksy,” he said. “I was in much the same places as Banksy at much the same times doing much the same stuff as a community artist and a lot of the information crosses over. It’s so ridiculous that it’s laugh-out-loud funny, but there’s also a sinister element to it. The joke is on me.”

In his letter of resignation, he said: “It was felt that, to protect the reputation of the town, Pembroke Dock did not need another controversial councillor dragging the reputation of the town through the mud.

“As a result of all this, my position became untenable and after some consideration, I sent my resignation notice to the town clerk.”