UK police arrest man after Banksy artwork snatched from London street

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Man in his 20s arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage after removal of installation in south London.

UK police have arrested a man suspected of stealing a Banksy artwork hours after its installation on a London street corner.

The man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage on Saturday, London’s Metropolitan Police said, following the removal of the installation consisting of a stop sign adorned with military drones.

“This incident is currently being investigated by officers,” a police spokesperson said.

“Anyone who may have information about the incident or the whereabouts of the sign is asked to call police.”

The suspect’s arrest came after a video emerged showing a man with bolt cutters climbing on a bicycle with the help of another man to remove the artwork.

In the video, a person’s voice can be heard saying, “it makes me so annoyed”, as the man runs away from the scene with the sign under his arm.

Jasmine Ali, deputy leader of Southwark Council in the Peckham area of south London, called for the return of the artwork.

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

Banksy, whose real name and identity are unconfirmed, has often cast a critical eye on conflict in his artworks and some fans online speculated that the installation took aim at the war in Gaza.

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