Despite being valued at over £1m and having attracted notoriety throughout the art world, a Dover mural attributed to the renowned street artist Banksy appears to have been painted over.
The Brexit-themed work appeared overnight on the side of what was once Castle Amusements in May of 2017, and depicted a blue EU flag, with one of its 12 stars being chipped away at by a workman on a ladder. The site had clearly been selected for its positioning on the A20, facing traffic headed towards Dover’s Eastern docks.
July saw the work attain its hefty price-tag in an independent valuation, but just weeks later the piece was mysteriously obscured by scaffolding: prompting local MP Charlie Elphicke to express both concern and frustration for the apparent lack of interest in protecting the mural.
“Very disappointed by the disappearance of the Dover Banksy, a culturally iconic statement on our times,” he said on social media. “We asked Historic England to use their powers to protect this work but they refused.”
By the time the scaffolding had been dismantled last week, it became clear that the mural hand been erased – and painted over in neat white. Exactly who was responsible for the removal of the work is as yet unclear, but Elphicke seemed to suggest that the loss of the painting was the indirect result of Historic England’s inaction – going so far as to say that they should “hang their heads in shame.”
But Banksy himself seemed relatively non-plussed at the destruction of his work. “Seems they’ve painted over it,” the artist said on Instagram.
“Nevermind I guess a big white flag says it just as well.”