Art News: Banksy, the international clandestine graffiti ninja, pulled off his greatest ever stunt last night, transforming Rio de Janeiro’s ‘Christ the Redeemer’ into a 39.6 metre high statue of Osama Bin Laden.

banksy hits rio

With allegations of police corruption running rife, the James Bond of modern art was somehow able to approach the giant statue by helicopter, apparently using a specially adapted cannister and spray nozzle – similar to that used for insecticide – to apply the paint.

Hanging from the helicopter as it hovered in front of one of the world’s most famous landmarks, Banksy was able to finish his spray-paint amendments within a couple of hours. The affect is astonishing: Bin Laden’s arms outstretched as if waiting for death, the first bullet hole just appearing in his body.

Both tight-lipped and tongue-in-cheek, Banksy is famously complicated in the mouth department, with no comment, communication, or even hint as to what he is trying to say.

I believe is trying to say that Bin Laden is the modern Christ,” says resident Mario Ombligo, “and for that may he burn in hell.”

Rio’s citizens are up in arms – and since they were already heavily armed, those arms are now piling up really quite high.

We don’t quite know how he managed it,” says mayor Romario Valdez. But if he hides his face here again, we will, um….”

Story: Jasper Gibson

Image: Q4Nobody

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Leave a Reply

60 Responses


    Awful…, he s lost it !!!! sorry Bansky you retire please!!!!

    June 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm
  • leo santangelo

    im sorry but for you die hard fans, thats a photo shop, im actually here in rio, and it would have been spotted, and as tasteless as it already is, im 100% that there is no way that any brazilian citizen would allow such an iconic part of the entire to be defaced, plus if he actually managed to pull it off…we would all know his identity as his corpse would be in every south american newspaper known to man
    ate mais


    June 8, 2011 at 11:15 pm
  • leo santangelo

    one other thing is that this photo is pre 2006 since the area around it is now very very different…i.e. lifts and escalators for disability access

    June 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm
  • Ced

    Photoshop, all right.
    But this is one hell of a message! Ben Laden really paid for others, as Christ did!

    An artist who takes this amount of risk to deliver his message deserves my eternal respect.

    A little cleaning afterward and that wouldn’t be that bad for the Cariocas…


    June 10, 2011 at 12:03 am
  • Fahi

    this is absolute photoshop! @ced:you feel respect for the inventor of photo shop!!!! gooooood :)
    how on the earth a helicopter can approach the statue so closely and hang out there for hours,without causing any damage?!!!! do you know how helis fly,right?!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm
  • Rodrigo

    Obviously fake….Not a word of it from brazilian media.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:58 am
  • Jones

    You fucking idiots! Of course its fake, clearly never been on this site before. Its supposed to be a joke you tits!

    February 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm
  • don't matter

    oh its better than your dead jesus any way

    May 14, 2012 at 7:39 am
  • Fisheye iphone

    I love it ! thanks Banksy for everythings you do !

    August 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm