Art is a steal at these Australian hotels

Art is a steal at these Australian hotels

Gone are the days when thick bath robes or fluffy towels went missing from hotel rooms on an almost daily basis. Today, a traveller who “innocently” makes an error and returns home with one in their suitcase is almost certain to see their credit card debited for the item before their flight lands.

Hotels are smart to the devious these days, and indeed some even put a price tag on everything in the room (including lamps and bedside tables), just in case you were to make the, ahem, “faux pas” of leaving with something you haven’t paid for.

But the Melbourne-based Art Series Hotel Group, are bucking the trend by postively encouraging their guests to let their criminal element come to the fore. It is offering guests the chance to literally “steal” two valuable Banksy artworks from the walls of its hotels, each worth around ?10,000.

The stunt challenges guests that if they can steal the rare signed prints by the mystery British graffiti artist, they can keep them. So far, a pair of guests who stayed in one of the hotels last month managed to leave with a print of “No Ball Games” (pictured above), and one more picture (Banky’s “Pulp Fiction” featuring bananas instead of guns) is up for grabs.

Stealing the prints isn’t as easy as you think. Firstly, it’s not certain which of the group’s three hotels the picture is in. Secondly, security cameras are aimed squarely at the pictures. But it is possible. The operation has its now-obligatory Facebook page, where you can see just how guests Maura Tuohy and her accomplice Megan Aney stole the first of the prints from The Blackman Hotel on December 15.

Posing as part of the agency team that was organising the stunt for the hotel group, the pair convinced hotel staff they were genuine and even got them to help carry the print to their car.

Now Melbourne is buzzing with plans to steal the second print, which is believed to be either at The Olsen or The Cullen hotels. But budding art thieves (if there is such a thing) will have to hatch a plan fast. The hotel plans to remove the print at the end of this weekend (January 15).

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