Banksy unveils new anti-war artwork in London – before being “stolen” just an hour later

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Banksy has unveiled a new anti-war artwork in London which only stayed up for an hour before it was supposedly stolen.

The new piece was found in Peckham, south London, and featured a “stop” traffic sign emblazoned with 3D war planes, which is believed to relate to the current conflict in Israel and Palestine.

Less than one hour after its arrival, PA captured images of two anonymous men removing the artwork. One stood on a Lime Bike to get to the sign, while the other held it in place.

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Earlier, Banksy had shared a photo of the artwork to his Instagram to officially confirm he was behind its creation. He offered no further explanation.

In 2015, Banksy had created street art in Gaza, which was widely considered some of his most provocative art to date. He added graffiti stencils to concrete rubble and, when he posted photographs of his work to his official website, he captioned his first stencil of a sad, crouching figure: “Bomb damage, Gaza City.”

In another caption, he wrote: “Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day.”

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Banksy has a long history with Palestine, dating back to 2005 where he created numerous artworks on the Palestinian side of the West Bank Wall, which separated Palestine from Israel. One of them depicted two children holding a bucket and spade by one of the holes in the wall, while another showed a girl floating above the ground holding onto balloons. A third showed a little boy sitting at the foot of a rope ladder that extended to the top of the wall.

In 2015, he also released a mock tourism advert, where footage of destroyed buildings, rubble, military forces, and the separation wall from Israel was shown alongside text that read: “The locals like it so much they never leave (because they’re not allowed to)”. Another scene describes how they are “watched over by friendly neighbours” who “destroyed 18,000 homes”.

The video ended with a shot of the West Bank Wall and a spray-painted quote on it that says: “If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful – we don’t remain neutral.”

Last year, Banksy also created seven new murals in various locations across Ukraine, particularly areas which had been badly impacted by the Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, it transpired that Banksy had seemingly revealed his real name in a newly unearthed interview from 2003.

Banksy – who first had his name printed in a report from The Independent – confirmed his name for the first time, as revealed via a press released shared by the BBC.

Wrench asked if he could use Banksy’s real name in the interview, citing that The Independent had already used it, asking the artist to confirm if his name was Robert Banks. “It’s Robbie,” Banksy clarified.

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