Banksy’s Valentine’s Day mural dismantled by Margate council within hours

Banksy’s Valentine’s day artwork highlighting violence against women was dismantled just hours after being unveiled, with council officials citing health and safety reasons.

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Titled Valentine’s Day Mascara, the original mural depicted a stereotypical 1950s housewife with a black eye and a missing tooth shutting a man into a real freezer positioned in front of the wall, with rubbish scattered in front. 

Now, Thanet district council has removed the freezer and rubbish from in front of the wall. 

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The original Valentine’s Day Mascara mural

In a statement, the council said: “We are aware that the graffiti artist known as Banksy has confirmed that the mural that has appeared recently in Margate is his.

“The graffiti is situated on a wall of a privately owned property. 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.

“The fridge-freezer is now in storage and will be returned once it has been made safe to the public. We will be contacting the owner of the property to discuss the options to preserve the artwork for the district.”

One online user quipped: Well there’s a novelty. Thanet council removing fly tipped rubbish within 24 hours -whatever next? It usually takes months.”

Others wondered if they had made the right choice, given the visitors a Banksy mural would have generated for Margate.

Last month, East Suffolk council removed a skip which had been part of a 2021 Banksy work in Lowestoft. It showed a seagull above the skip, however locals began dumping their own rubbish there and the authorities decided to remove it.

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