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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60 Responses

  • ©THE ALEX CEBALL STUDIO_WORLDWIDE_

    Ohhhhhhh fucking yeahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

    a_

    June 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm
  • Gades

    Fake!
    fake!
    and more fake notice!

    June 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm
  • Anon

    I hope he sues you for slander for making up such ridiculous allegations.

    June 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm
  • Apple

    holy shit, the man has done it again. pure genius.

    June 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm
  • idiot

    stop reporting fake news.

    June 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm
  • Jake Hill

    And how did he create/place the stencil for the face in order to get it that perfectly? buuuullshit. although i wish it were real, its not.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm
  • joey

    CLEARLY photoshopped.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm
  • Anonymous

    FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE

    June 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm
  • Guysgottrolled

    You guys do realize that this website’s slogal is “time well wasted”. This, like The Onion, is a satirical news site.

    June 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm
  • Sam Elliott's Mustache

    . thanks for posting fake news for morons to tweet about all weekend.

    June 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm
  • greta

    stupid banksy. even if it was real, no news brasilian police is corrupt, no news that with money and power, almost everything can be done…and if we talk about megalomany i prefer osama…

    June 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm
  • Alanverage

    theres a lot of fucking idiots posting comments on here. The same idiots that jump on ironic hashtags such as #fishmovies with answers like “Big Fish”, “Jaws” or “A Fish called Wanda”. Totally missing the point and not posting something like “The Codfather”.

    Here’s a good hashtag for you numpties – #stupidfuckingidiot

    June 5, 2011 at 12:29 am
  • Marcus

    No helicopter could ever hover for 2 hours over the statue without being notice. Not even in the wee hours.

    June 5, 2011 at 12:57 am
  • Bobber

    This new is real I’m living in Brazil

    June 5, 2011 at 2:02 am
  • spliff

    fuuuuuuuuuuuuu you got me

    June 5, 2011 at 2:19 am
  • Mojozoso

    This is flying through Tumblr like mad. Everyone seems to assume it’s real. Brilliantly done, guys.

    June 5, 2011 at 7:30 am
  • Juan

    The mayor of Rio is very cross with The Poke

    June 5, 2011 at 7:54 am
  • barry

    well, yeah, man. but parody can also be like real, u know. remember the bush presidency? very realistic. and a lot of people bought [into] it yo. banksy is just like u or me if we were banksy [or someone just like him] only he is trying to pay the bills by not having something specific to say. and saying it in many places. just like not brazil

    June 5, 2011 at 9:41 am
  • John

    Fake & gay lol… Rio’s mayor is Eduardo Paz hahaha

    June 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm
  • tazzza

    So, do the people who think they are clever by reporting this as fake news actually believe the other posts on the poke about Cheryl Cole being given an honourary GCSE and Ian Duncan-Smith launching ‘out of work experience’?

    June 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm
  • Gabriel

    Fake or not, THE PICTURE ITSELF IS GENIUS and a piece of art itself.

    June 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm
  • Deane

    Wow this website really is a waste of time… Especially the comment section! Thanks! Keep up the crappy work!

    June 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm
  • inigo montoya

    What Gabriel said. At first glance it looked real, and like something banksy would do. but was quickly noticed to be a shoop.

    regardless, brilliant artwork nonetheless.

    June 6, 2011 at 1:53 am
  • wellcallmejoshfornow

    Why are people saying fake and gay? Who cares if its fake, its well done anyway. Its not gay, the only gat thing is that you say “lol”

    June 6, 2011 at 6:28 am
  • dimeena yo mama

    why would someone use the word “gay” to describe this. gay has nothing to do with this picture or it’s additional written context. and it’s insulting to many people when you use that term to describe something you don’t like. F U to the guy who wrote it… and FYI the mayor of Rio de Janeiro IS Eduardo paes.

    June 6, 2011 at 9:18 am
  • ils

    go to google search, put in “Christ the Redeemer”, look through the pictures….. and guess what you find….
    The exact same picture (even the single tourist stands at the same place) is easily found on the first search site… just without the “banksy”-add. Therefore a fake.
    But it certainly needs creativity to come up with the osama idea ^_^ I like it

    June 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm
  • John Hall

    Watch ya back Banksy fake or real don’t matter some mad fucker will be after you…PS Banksy if you read this you can always spray on my house wall…

    June 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm
  • pracnes

    bad photoshop…

    June 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm
  • BRSK

    ESto es una blasfemia!!!FOTOSHOPEADOOO sin duda alguna!!! perpleja noticia!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm
  • Shannon Holliday

    I would’ve believed it if it was a chest shot and a head shot. Had he done it, it might have ignited a war.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm
  • Scott

    This is SO FAKE! Banksy is probably one of the most secretive people in the world; most the people in the world have no idea who he really is…. this being said, Banksy would never rent a helicopter and have it flown over to Brazil’s major historical landmark to turn what the Brazillian’s praise into someone who the entire world (or should I say all of western culture) hates. That place is heavily guarded and Banksy would have never risked getting shot down in a helicopter to make an art piece that would probably start riots or even a war. His art may be extremely controversial, but he actually does what he does to open people’s eyes to a lot of current events that are either blown out of proportion or kept in the dark; Banksy is way to creative and way to clever to do something ridiculous like that.

    June 7, 2011 at 5:05 am
  • Harry Trousers

    I would like to point out that most of the above comments are fake. And gay, obviously. Fake and gay.

    June 7, 2011 at 10:15 am
  • Fanny Crisps

    Regarding the above post: Harry Trousers? Well that’s obviously a made-up name. Before you start claiming other comments are fake perhaps you should use your real name. Spaznut.

    June 7, 2011 at 10:18 am
  • Silly dildo

    A real piece like this would start a war? Gtfooh. War on graffiti maybe, but that’s already ongoing, so no news.

    June 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm
  • Bruno (Brazil- Rio de Janeiro)

    Fake…bad lie….I live around Christ, there has nothing….hehehehe.
    Brazil has a lot corruption going on…but on the Christ NEVER. you can’t get close, if helicopter aproch, alarm start, and there has police 24 hours and many camera..bigggg lie =P
    try another

    June 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm
  • Lais (Rio de Janeiro - Brasil)

    They didn’t even attempted to make a good image editing.

    June 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm
  • Gabriel Lucas

    You almost got Romário in his actual position, he is not the mayor but is a Deputee in Congress elected in Rio!

    June 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm
  • modest luke

    if its true this is THE MOST EPIC SHIT IN HISTORY.

    June 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm
  • marc

    The “fake!” comments are funnier than the news itself. Great work!

    June 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm
  • marc

    By the way, I live in Rio. When I opened my window this morning and saw the Cristo, I almost died of a heart attack! The government was very quick to clean it up and you won’t see any pictures or news about it anymore, anywhere. GO BANKSY!

    June 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm
  • liz

    Duran Duran, you are showing your age sweetie…

    June 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm
  • wam

    Genius Fake !!

    June 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm
  • av.

    is that Gordon Banks the legendary goalkeeper?

    June 8, 2011 at 12:06 am
  • pepe

    loool, this looks like some faggot angry on god did it hahaha, he mustve been mad that god made him into a faggot hahaha

    June 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm
  • Paul

    I would love to know why there are so many retarded people using this website. Clearly they don’t understand the meaning of sarcasm and/or satirical humour. Instead they decide to exclaim how shocked they are that someone has faked this or that it is actually real! haha. Go get a life please, or actually, for starters go and get a brain. Bloody idiots.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm
  • ZURDOSOIZQUIERDOSO

    QUE BOLAS COMO CREAN UNA NOTICIA COMO ESA, ENSUCIAN EL NOMBRE DE BANKSY!
    PHOTOSHOP PURO!

    June 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm
  • R4i 3DS

    Fake ! I can do the same one

    June 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm
  • ofiodor@poczta.onet.pl

    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

    peace

    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…

    Dec.

    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