A crowd gathers to view Banksy's latest work in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.

A crowd gathers to view Banksy's latest work in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

British graffiti artist Banksy has been told to stop painting murals in New York. While delighting lovers of street art by painting a new work in a surprise location in the city every day this month, the elusive artist has incurred the wrath of mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Mr Bloomberg said graffiti ''does ruin people's property'' and was ''a sign of decay and lost control''.

''Nobody's a bigger supporter of the arts than I am,'' the mayor, who donates millions of dollars each year to the city's artistic institutions, said. ''I just think there are some places for art and some places where - no art.

Whited out ... Banksy art, titled The Street Is In Play, survived less than a day in New York. Click for more photos

Banksy's bite too much for big apple

Whited out ... Banksy art, titled The Street Is In Play, survived less than a day in New York.

  • Whited out ... Banksy art, titled The Street Is In Play, survived less than a day in New York.
  • New York mayor Michael Bloomberg says graffiti ruins property. 'It's a sign of decay and loss of control,' local media have reported.
  • A scene titled 'Tweety' from artist Banksy's new installation 'The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill' is seen October 8, 2008 in New York City. The 'pet store' features an animatronic leopard, monkey, chicken nuggets and hot dogs along with other creations.
  • A scene titled 'Chicken Nuggets' from artist Banksy's 2008 installation 'The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill'.
  • A portrait by a British graffiti artist known as 'Banksy' is shown in this undated photo. The work hung on the wall at the Brooklyn Museum, after the artist surreptitiously hung his own works of art in four New York museums.
  • Two women have their picture taken next to new artwork by British graffiti artist Banksy on West 24th street in New York City.
  • A dog urinates on a new work by British graffiti artist Banksy on West 24th street in New York City.
  • A person walks by a new Bansky work on a side of a wall  in New York City.
  • People look at a new Bansky work on a side of a wall on in New York City.
  • People look at a new Bansky work on a side of a wall in New York City.
  • A new Bansky work is viewed on a side of a wall stating "This is My New York Accent" in New York City.
  • A Chicago man scores hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Banksy art at the cost of $60 per piece in New York.

''You running up to somebody's property or public property and defacing it is not my definition of art. Or it may be art, but it should not be permitted. And I think that's exactly what the law says.''

Any Banksy work discovered on city property would be removed, he said. However, he declined to be drawn on whether the police should go after the artist.

This week, the New York Post claimed police were pursuing Banksy to put a stop to the graffiti.

Amid denials from police that he was a priority, Banksy said in a message on his website: ''I don't read what I believe in the papers,'' and he continued his ''residency on the streets of New York''.

During his project, entitled ''Better Out Than In'', Banksy has left new works on walls and doors. He posts a photograph and an approximate location on his website.

On day 13, he set up an unmarked stall in Central Park and sold signed small canvases, which would typically fetch tens of thousands, for just $60 each.

In Brooklyn, a fight broke out when a hooded man began to spray over one Banksy painting, of two geishas crossing a bridge. Other works have been defaced by rivals, while one was covered with a cardboard box by youngsters, who then charged passers-by $5 to view it.

Telegraph, London