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A story in this week's newspapers took me right back to the early days of Cleanzine - must have been at least 900 issues ago - when over the space of a few weeks there were three stories about cleaners having inadvertently 'done the dirty' on their employers. I can't recall the details but two had tidied desks they weren't supposed to touch, resulting in money, important paperwork and jewellery being binned. The third, which shouldn't have made me chuckle but did, involved a cleaner who'd tidied and binned an 'important' exhibit at a museum or art gallery, thinking it was "a load of rubbish", which I believe it actually was. As the cleaner had screwed up the various parts so it took up less space in the bin, the exhibit - once retrieved and reconstructed - was never quite the same.
The story reminding me of these unfortunate incidents, involved famous graffiti artist Banksy, who, heavily disguised in PPE and brandishing a pressure sprayer similar to those used in our industry, produced 'artwork' on a tube train carrying passengers along London's Central Line. Designed to encourage people to wear masks when in public, it featured a rat splattering the carriage and window with body fluids from its nose and mouth, some using face masks as parachutes and others appearing to used antibacterial hand gel to create their own graffiti, including: 'I get lockdown... but I get up again' - mimicking the well-known Chumbawumba song.
The work - valued by various experts as being worth anything up to 7.5million, was subsequently removed by the cleaning team as graffiti.
I wonder if they'll ever live it down or whether they'll be taking jibes from their colleagues, management, families and friends for the rest of their days.
Perhaps we should have an industry award for such mishaps... We have! Cleanzine awards them a 'Dusty', our very own tongue in cheek award!
If you'd like to see him in action, Banksy uploaded a video of this latest prank at www.instagram.com
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16th July 2020