The world’s greatest art mystery may have finally been solved after the identity of BANKSY was accidentally revealed in a slip of the tongue – by rapper Goldie.
Drum and bass legend Goldie was being interviewed for a podcast when he referred to the elusive artist as ‘Robert’.
It is thought to be confirmation that Banksy is his friend Robert Del Naja – a member of Massive Attack.
Del Naja – known as 3D – is a pal of the DJ and they were both grafitti artists in the same circles in the late 1980s.
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Last year a researcher claimed Del Naja is Banksy which he denied – but listeners say Goldie’s gaffe appears to confirm his identity.
His bombshell occurred around 38 minutes into an interview with spoken word poet Scroobius Pip for his Distraction Pieces podcast which aired on Tuesday.
Goldie can be heard complaining about how the art industry is cashing in on Banksy.
He says: “Give me a bubble letter and put it on a t-shirt and write ‘Banksy’ on it and we’re sorted. We can sell it now.
“No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”
Scroobius Pip replies: “Yeah, completely.”
Goldie, real name Clifford Joseph Price, MBE, then pauses for a few seconds before changing the topic to jazz music.
But while the huge slip-up seems to have gone unnoticed by him and the interviewer, one listener cottoned on.
The fan said: “They were talking about Banksy and then he referred to him as ‘Robert’ and I put two and two together.
“I’m just a random listener but I’ve heard the rumours – it made my ears prick up.”
Jungle producer and musician Goldie – a former street artist himself – has previously been linked to Robert Del Naja, and the pair move in the same circles.
He took part in the largest ever British graffiti art battle in the 1980s alongside Bristol artist Del Naja, who later formed Massive Attack.
In 2016, journalist Craig Williams carried out a five-month investigation into Banksy and concluded that Del Naja, 52, was behind the movement.
He claimed Banksy is not just one person but a team of street artists – and that Del Naja is the ringleader.
It came after he discovered that on at least six occasions, Banksy’s work popped up shortly before or after Massive Attack gigs in the same city.
“Wishful thinking I think. He is a mate as well, he’s been to some of the gigs. It’s purely a matter of logistics and coincidence, nothing more than that.”
Banksy rose to fame for his provocative stencil work in the late 1990s and ever since, the mystery surrounding his identity has deepened.
At a similar time Massive Attack were releasing Mezzanine and Del Naja was being credited as the first graffiti artist in Bristol.
According to Craig’s investigation six Banksy murals were reported in San Francisco on May 1, 2010 after his band performed a two-night stint in the city in the April.
Later on that tour Massive Attack head to Boston’s Chinatown a day after a Banksy appeared there.
Similar patterns are reported in 2006 when Massive Attack embarked on a US tour a week before Banksy’s Barely Legal exhibition in the city.
In 2008, Bristol street artist – or group – Banksy produced 14 stencils across New Orleans marking the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Del Naja co-wrote the soundtrack to the New Orleans-themed documentary Trouble the Water during the same time frame.
Del Naja also appeared in Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop speaking about the pair’s friendship from his early days in the city.
And Banksy even provides the foreword to Del Naja’s book 3D and the Art of Massive Attack, which was released last year.
The global graffiti star has also previously been named as public schoolboy Robin Gunningham.