Banksy is not a Brexit supporter, as the world-famous street artist made clear with his monumental painting on a house wall in the southern English port city of Dover: a square EU flag could be seen, from which a craftsman with a hammer and chisel picked a star beats.
Banksy painted the meter-high work in May 2017, almost a year after the British voted to leave the EU. The location, a building near the ferry terminal, was obviously not chosen by chance, as the port of Dover has always been the gateway to Great Britain. But now the painting has disappeared – it was apparently whitewashed.
Instead of a banksy you only see a scaffold
The waves of indignation hit the net, many were horrified. A user complains in the name of the residents of Dover about the loss of “our bank system” and speaks of “cultural vandalism of the worst kind”.
It is striking that the plant was painted over just under two months before the planned Brexit. British MP Charlie Elphicke wrote on Twitter that he was very disappointed with the disappearance of the picture and called it a “cultural iconic statement of our time”. He asked Historic England to protect the plant, but they refused. “That’s the result. You should be ashamed,” said Elphicke.
Are you planning to sell?
However, it is also possible that the picture has been preserved for sale before the house wall has been whitewashed. The BBC reported that the owners had already planned a possible sale in 2017, but had previously failed at the Supreme Court when trying to sell another Banksy plant. The picture in Dover was valued at one million pounds. Banksy had committed to authorship on Instagram.
Damaged out of ignorance
It is not the first time that a Banksy painting has been painted over in England. In 2018, a shopkeeper in Bristol ignorantly painted over an early work by the artist, whose identity is still unknown. She wanted to turn the pizza stall into a tea room and spice up the sprayed roller shutters. “We were only halfway through painting when someone came over and asked if they could take a last picture because it was Banksy,” she later told the BBC.
suc / ww (dpa, BBC)