New coronavirus-themed Banksy Seems on London Underground

Sunday, 19 Jul, 2020

After elusive street artist Banksy took to London's underground to creatively encourage people to wear masks, Transport for London reports that the work has been removed.

Transport for London (TfL) said the artwork has since been removed citing its "strict anti-graffiti policy".

James O'Brien's verdict is above.

This is not the first time that Banky did some art related to the deadly coronavirus.

He shared a video on his Instagram, wherein he is seen in protective gear akin to those worn by Transport for London (TfL) workers tasked with deep cleaning of carriages. The graffiti has since been removed despite its public health message.

Professional graffiti merchant "Banksy" - who is speculated to be a middle-class private school-educated forty-year-old from Bristol, a mecca for British left-wing activism - had revealed on Tuesday through his YouTube and Instagram accounts that the piece was his.

Banksy indicates for another masked passenger to move back, before stencilling a rat using a blue face mask as a parachute.

TfL did however say it appreciated "the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings".

At the end of the video, the words "I get lockdown" are shown on the side of a station wall, followed by "but I get up again" on the train's doors, with Chumbawamba's 1997 song "Tubthumping" playing in the background. The opening lyrics - "I get knocked down, but I get up again" - play as the Tube doors close.

In a clip posted on the artist's officialInstagram page yesterday, a man disguised as a cleaner is seen stencilling the carriage with masked-themed rodents.

Banksy's artwork came shortly after it was announced that face coverings are now mandatory in all shops and supermarkets in England from July 24th.

An artwork entitled Game Changer, showing an NHS nurse as a superhero toy, went on display at Southampton General Hospital in May.