PEOPLE from all walks of life who make a trip to the Shipwreck museum, leave their mark in the visitors’ book.
However, it is unheard of for their comment to get so much attention that the book has to be removed for safe-keeping.
One entry, signed ‘2011 Banksy, Artist’, has caused quite a stir since appearing in August this year, and has divided opinion as to whether the famous street artist did indeed pay a visit to the museum in Rock-a-Nore.
The message reads ‘Thoroughly enjoyed it. Best wishes’ and was discovered by museum staff who were checking the visitors’ book for feedback a couple of days later.
After three women were overheard plotting to remove the page, the book was removed from public display.
George Chapman, Shipwreck Museum trustee, said: “What we would like is definite confirmation that the signature is genuine.”
Banksy is well-known for his distinctive stencilling technique, and the dark humour of his work, which offers social commentary on a wide range of issues.
He emerged from the Bristol underground scene in the early 1990s, and has left his mark in a number of towns and cities in the UK and abroad, including satirical images on the Israeli West Bank barrier.
The artist is famous for keeping his identity a secret, so there is little chance that anyone would have recognised him among the thousands of visitors passing through the museum.
This would not have been his first visit to Hastings however, as last year Banksy left his mark on the promenade wall below St Leonards Parish Church, in the form of a girl building sandcastles (pictured).
As news of this art work spread, there were concerns that the council would treat it as graffiti and paint over it. However to the relief of fans, the decision was made to allow the image to stay.
With the page of the Shipwreck Museum visitors’ book due to be framed and put on display in the coming months, museum staff are asking Banksy to confirm whether he was really here.