Man arrested after anti-war Banksy piece was ‘stolen from street’ hours after authenticity confirmed

23 December 2023, 19:27

A man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage after a Banksy installation was removed in south-east London, the Metropolitan Police said.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage after a Banksy installation was removed in south-east London, the Metropolitan Police said.

Picture:
Getty


A man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage after a Banksy installation was removed in south-east London, the Metropolitan Police said.

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The piece of street art – a traffic stop sign covered with three aircraft resembling military drones – was revealed at the intersection of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham at midday on Friday.

Less than an hour after Banksy confirmed it was genuine by posting a photo of it on social media, witnesses saw the artwork being removed by a man with bolt cutters.

The force said on Saturday that they received a report of theft and have since arrested a man who remains in custody.

Southwark Council had previously called on a piece of Banksy artwork to be returned after it was removed from Peckham.

The work of art by Banksy was taken down from a street in south-east London on Friday just hours after being confirmed it was genuine.

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The famous graffiti artist confirmed the artwork, a road ‘stop’ sign decorated with three drones, was his on Friday.

Two men were seen removing the sign from the junction of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham at around 12.30pm.

The deputy Leader of Southwark Council, Jasmine Ali, said the work should be returned for everyone to enjoy “Banksy’s brilliant work”.

Ms Ali said: “Of course Banksy picked Peckham, it’s already on the map when it comes to art and is a hotbed for creativity.

“It should not have been removed and we’d like it back so everyone in the community can enjoy Banksy’s brilliant work.

“We have reported the removal of our sign to the police to help get it back.”

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