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Banksy The Rat - or so they say...

Liverpool's poet laureate, Reggie McCough, commemorates the sale of the Whitehouse pub with an ode to the artwork which is about to be painted over

Published on February 22nd 2010.

Banksy The Rat - or so they say...

Professor Chucklebutty has been looking at the work of art by Banksy that stands on the wall of the derelict Whitehouse pub in Duke Street.

The pub, which recently sold at auction for £114,000, is to become “luxury apartments” and the owner, a builder from Kirkby, plans to paint over the work, because he doesn't like modern art

This is perhaps the second insult. Council bosses had the whole thing covered up at the start of 2008, European Capital of Culture year, because they deemed it an eyesore. They later releented after it was explained to them.

In actual fact, this Banksy is a rarity because it was commissioned, for the 2004 Liverpool Biennial, and signed by the artist, although naturally that bit has long been nicked.

But some people won't be told that it's a rat and not a cat.

The Professor has reached the view that the artistic subject matter is more akin to a large black and white cat, rather than a Rat, despite it having a rodent's tail – although that bit's been nicked too.

In an attempt to resolve this debate, he has commissioned his close friend, well - known Liverpool Artist and Poet, Reggie McCough to present his argument for him through verse.

By Reggie McCough

The Whitehouse pub in Liverpool has recently been sold
Complete with work by Banksy, of a Rat we have been told

There may be rats inside but on the outside wall of fame
It looks like a Felis Cattus, to give the Latin name.

Don’t say to me look at the tail to try and make your case
that it’s Roland Rat when clearly it is Bagpuss round the face

Even if it’s meant to be, don’t take me for a fool
You’ve done a cat and that is that, go back to drawing school.

The name should match the subject even if it’s just a blob
You wouldn’t call Epstein's Kiss “Gorillas On The Job”.

Or Mona Lisa “Gurning With a Cheeky Randy Grin”
as Da Vinci said, give me the look like you’ve got the love eggs in.

The “Laughing Vauxhall Vectra” can’t replace a Cavalier
Whistler’s “Dad In Drag” has not the warmth of Mother Dear.

Or, “Woman With Her Kit Off Standing In A Giant Scallop?”
Botticelli’s Birth of Venus makes her much less of a trollop.

Michaelangelo’s Last Supper, well you really wouldn’t hurry
to see it if the name was “Lads, Let’s All Go For A Curry.”

What of Van gogh’s famous Sunflowers? They'd surely raise some laughs
If they had gone to auction, labelled as a bunch of daffs.

And what of old Picasso,would his talent have been missed
If his paintings were of Katy, The Oxo Cube cubist?

So is this a case of The Emperors Clothes with people scared to say
They t’ought they taw a puddytat when it saw the light of day?

Now it seems it’s called a Rat, that’s what it’s meant to be
Well call it what you want mate, I know what I can see.

It’s a cat and not a rat that adorns the old Whitehouse.
Look at it, admit it, what are you, a man or a mouse?

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