Banksy’s Valentine’s Day art removed after just a few hours

Bristol-born artist’s latest piece is considered a reference to domestic violence

Nicole Vassell
Wednesday 15 February 2023 06:15 GMT
New Banksy art appears in Margate for Valentine's Day

The chest freezer that made up part of Banksy’s newest artwork has been removed due to safety concerns.

Anonymous artist Banksy confirmed that he was behind the painting of a Fifties housewife seemingly pushing her husband into a freezer on Tuesday (14 February).

Titled Valentine’s day mascara, the piece is on a wall in Margate, Kent. It shows a smiling woman wearing a dress, pinafore and yellow washing-up gloves, with a chipped tooth and a bruised eye.

The artist was praised by followers on social media for using his creation to highlight the important topic of domestic violence, particularly on a day when many are discussing romance.

However, later on Tuesday, the resident of the property where the painting was created told the PA news agency that the freezer and other items used for the artwork had been removed at midday.

The tenant, who asked not to be named, expressed her disappointment at the changes made to Banksy’s piece.

“I’m absolutely upset because it’s not really nice,” she said of the removal of the chest freezer.

New Banksy artwork titled ‘Valentine’s day mascara'
New Banksy artwork titled ‘Valentine’s day mascara' (PA)

“It was part of the art, they should be very happy because Margate could get bigger attention, positive attention.

“Why did they move those parts? It’s just silly.”

She claimed she asked the people who removed the items why they were doing so, saying: “Someone told them on the council, they are just doing the task, it’s not their idea but they must do it.”

In a statement to The Independent, a representative for Thanet District Council confirmed that the freezer had been removed for safety reasons.

“The graffiti is situated on a wall of a privately owned property,” the council said. “The 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.”

In the photos of the artwork, shared by the artist, there were also a variety of items on the ground in front of the freezer, including a broken white garden chair, a blue crate and an empty beer bottle.

Additional reporting by PA

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