Banksy Valentine's Day artwork removed within hours

Publish Date
Wednesday, 15 February 2023, 3:42PM

A Banksy artwork that appeared in Margate, England has been dismantled by the local council hours after the elusive artist claimed the piece as his.

The mural shows a 1950s housewife with a swollen eye and missing tooth, apparently shutting a man in a freezer.

The piece - called "Valentine's day mascara" by Banksy - had also incorporated a broken freezer and other items, which were all later removed.

The freezer will return "once it has been made safe", the council said.

A statement from Thanet District Council added: "A fridge freezer which is believed to have been part of the installation has been removed by council operatives on the grounds of safety as it was on public land."

Banksy published a picture of the work on his Instagram page on Valentine's Day morning, and many of the comments suggest he is referencing fighting violence against women.


The artwork also featured a variety of rubbish on the ground, including a broken white garden chair, a blue crate and an empty beer bottle.

The resident of the property where the painting was created, who asked not to be named, said the freezer and other items had been removed "very quickly" and put into a truck at midday on Tuesday.

Referring to the council, she added: "Earlier, no-one was interested if the rubbish was on the street. I mean, they were, but not that quickly.

"Even if you report something to them about taking the rubbish, they are acting one or two weeks later, not immediately."

Photo by Anna Brown

Many local Margate residents commented on the removal of the freezer on social media, with some accusing the council of spoiling the artwork.

Among them was Richard Llewellyn, who said: "The alley, a public footpath that leads almost to where the Banksy art piece is, has been like this for weeks and weeks. It's shocking what is in the pile.

"Yet the council can arrive as quick as anything to remove part of the artwork 200 metres away. Someone's priorities a little wrong me thinks."

Another comment said: "Probably been there for months....only became a health and safety issue once it became a piece of art."

The council said the fridge freezer "is now in storage and will be returned once it has been made safe to the public".

The statement added: "We will be contacting the owner of the property to discuss the options to preserve the artwork for the district."

This article was first published on the by Bob Dale & Stuart Maisner

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