Banksy made headlines this week after the anonymous artist released a video of their latest project. The artist took to the London Underground to create a new graffiti piece inspired by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Initial reports from The Transport for London (TFL) claim that the artwork was removed because it breached a strict “no graffiti policy.” However, it has now been reported that the removal of the art piece was completely accidental.
Banksy’s latest graffiti art was inspired by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Using the artist’s signature rats, Banksy painted the rodents using surgical face masks as parachutes, face coverings and more. Banksy also created a rat seemingly sneezing germs all over a window.
On Tuesday, the artist then released a video showing how the art piece was created. Banksy took inspiration from a London Underground cleaning video and dressed up as a sanitation worker. Through the disguise, Banksy was able to discreetly get on the London Underground’s Circle Line without being detected.
“Some days” later, however, the artwork was removed from the London Underground. Transport For London claims that the graffiti was removed due to strict “no graffiti” policies.
“In this particular case, the work was removed some days ago due to our strict anti-graffiti policy,” the TFL says.
However, it has now been confirmed by the Evening Standard that the art was accidentally removed by a sanitation worker. The worker apparently had no knowledge of the graffiti’s significance.
“When we saw the video, we started to look into it and spoke to the cleaners,” a source told the Evening Standard. “It started to emerge that they had noticed some sort of ‘rat thing’ a few days ago and cleaned it off, as they should.”
Following this, TFL has extended an invitation to Banksy to recreate the graffiti art elsewhere.
“We appreciate the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings, which the vast majority of customers on our transport network are doing,” the TFL says. “We’d like to offer Banksy the chance to do a new version of his message for our customers in a suitable location.”
Since the video’s caption is “if you don’t mask you don’t get it,” Banksy is clearly encouraging U.K. citizens to wear protective masks with this latest graffiti.
Banksy’s art piece comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that face masks are required in all public spaces. The rule goes into effect later this month and has received some backlash.
This isn’t the first time Banksy has created coronavirus-related art. Earlier this year, the artist created an art piece that portrayed NHS healthcare workers as superheroes.
Banksy’s video of the coronavirus-inspired graffiti is available to watch below.
What are your thoughts on Banksy’s latest graffiti? Let us know in the comments below.