New graffiti artwork by the street artist Banksy, appeared on a London Underground train, which was revealed in a video on the artist’s Instagram. It has been revealed by Transport For London (TFL) that the graffiti artwork was removed by cleaner’s, without realising Banksy was the artist. The video shows Banksy wearing a high-vis vest and a protective face mask, spray painting the iconic Banksy rats on a Circle Line train, whilst seemingly oblivious passengers looked on.
In the video we see the mischievous rats using a face mask as a parachute, one spraying a cloud of blue as it sneezes, and another playing with hand sanitiser, referencing the current global pandemic and insistent need to sanitise.
According to one TFL source, “When we saw the video, we started to look into it and spoke to the cleaners. It started to emerge that they had noticed some sort of ‘rat thing’ a few days ago and cleaned it off, as they should.” TFL has a “no graffiti” policy which resulted in the work being cleaned almost immediately.
The video is set to Chumbawamba's song Tubthumping - also known as I Get Knocked Down, captioned with the message “If you don’t mask - you don’t get.”
Since the video has been released, a TFL spokesperson has offered Banksy the chance to create another version of the artwork in a more suitable location.
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Image and video courtesy: INSTAGRAM/BANKSY via REUTERS.