Banksy’s coronavirus inspired artwork scrubbed from London Underground train

LONDON — Banksy’s latest artwork encouraged people to wear face-coverings during the coronavirus pandemic, but London’s transportation agency did not like its location.

The British street artist, noted for his political commentary, created a mural on a London Underground train to warn residents about the dangers of not wearing a face-covering. However, Transport for London removed the art “some days ago” in accordance with the agency’s “strict anti-graffiti policy,” the BBC reported.

Banksy’s latest work, called “If You Don’t Mask, You Don’t Get,” showcases several rats in pandemic-inspired poses while wearing face masks.

The artist uploaded a 59-second video to his Instagram and YouTube pages on Tuesday that showed him spray painting on a Circle Line train. The video is subtitled “London Underground undergoes deep cleaning” and shows Banksy dressed like a maintenance worker in a white boiler suit, mask and goggles. He is also wearing an orange jacket with the words “stay safe” on his back.

One of the rats stenciled on the train car appears to be sneezing, while another rodent is depicted spraying anti-bacterial gel, the BBC reported.

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. . If you don’t mask - you don’t get.

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Banksy’s name is also written across the driver’s door of a train.

At the end of the video, the words “I get lockdown” appear on the side of a station wall, the BBC reported. Then the train’s doors close to reveal the phrase “but I get up again,” with the phrases referencing Chumbawamba’s 1997 song, “Tubthumping.”

In a statement, Transport for London said it appreciated “the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face-coverings.”

“We’d like to offer Banksy the chance to do a new version of his message for our customers in a suitable location,” the statement said.

Banksy’s identity has never been officially revealed. He is noted for a series of satirical graffiti pieces that appeared on buildings in the United Kingdom, the BBC reported.

This year, Banksy created a mural in time for Valentine’s Day. In December 2019, a dark manger scene was unveiled at a hotel in Bethlehem in the Israeli-controlled West Bank. That work was called “Scar of Bethlehem.”

In October 2018, “Girl With Balloon,” a painting by Banksy, was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in London for more than $1 million, the BBC reported.

As soon as the winning telephone bid was verified, Banksy’s most recognized work passed through a shredder that was installed in the frame, the network reported.

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