I don't often find myself in the City of London (as opposed to the City of Westminster) but I was over there yesterday with a couple of hours to kill and a camera in hand. So don't be surprised by the next few entries being clustered around that area.Parliament Court is a real hidden gem. I've only been able to pin its exact location down on one map out of three since I got home. Even Google Maps doesn't show it properly - just points to an blank space in between other streets. A passing glance suggests nothing but a fairly empty alley, and I probably wouldn't have noticed it at all if a couple of people weren't stood there looking at a grafitto/mural at one end of it. They were saying something about Jack the Ripper. It may well have been in 'tribute' to his presence in the area, but I doubt the original ever carried a spray can. Like Londonist, I wasn't convinced that, although in a stencilled style, it was the work of Banksy, but it was certainly eye-catching.
I figured I might as well go down the alley, not expecting to find much else, except perhaps for an alternative view from which to take a photo. I was rather startled, therefore, when I came across an even more striking graffito, this time very like a Banksy piece: an armed man firing doves out of his weapon.
I've been trying to work out if I've now seen a Banksy in situ for the first time. On the one hand, the black and white colour scheme, and the stencilled look of the gunman were very reminiscent of his work. On the other, it seems less elaborate than a lot of his other stuff. The doves looked like they had been block printed on, rather than stencilled, although I don't know if this is significant. Also, it didn't feature his tag, but rather a somewhat undecipherable signature (below). Googling got me nowhere (it just bought up the Londonist article), and looking at maps of the locations of his work doesn't tell me anything either.
So, I'm thinking it probably isn't. But it was a really great piece, and a wonderful surprise to see down a street that I could very easily have ignored. If anyone has any idea who created it, please leave a comment!