When a new motif by street artist Banksy appeared in Margate in south-east England, it quickly attracted numerous visitors. But shortly thereafter, a freezer is missing, around which the artist had designed his picture. The authorities had intervened, but only temporarily.
The pictures by street artist Banksy always cause a stir. However, his most recent motif kept people busy for days. There was a lot of surprise on Valentine's Day when the picture appeared on Grosvenor Place in Margate, in the southeastern English county of Kent.
It shows a 1950s style woman wearing an apron and yellow rubber gloves. She has a black eye and is missing a tooth. Next to her is a chest freezer that someone apparently dumped on this house wall. Two legs with men's shoes protrude from it - again in the typical Banksy style. The picture only allows one conclusion, the woman has just pushed her partner into a freezer. It was widely understood as a contribution against domestic violence in many relationships.
But it is precisely this chest freezer that becomes a problem. Margate City Council declares the rubbish that is part of the picture unsafe and has it taken away. A statement said it has been placed in storage and will be returned "once it has been made safe for the public". They also want to speak to the property owners to discuss options for preserving the artwork.
In fact, the commune got serious about their announcements very quickly. Only a few hours after the removal, the freezer returned, without which the picture had become somewhat incomprehensible. In addition, transparent protective walls were installed over the murals. This is to ensure that the image can be seen for a long time. "Banksy raises the important issue of domestic violence in this artwork," the council said. Banksy artworks have been damaged or stolen in the past.
The anonymous street artist had confirmed he was behind the artwork by posting a series of photos of the piece on his Instagram account on Tuesday.
(This article was first published on Thursday, February 16, 2023.)