Banksy's Latest Creation on the London Tube Encouraged People to Wear Masks
It's already been removed but lives on Instagram.
A Banksy creation encouraging people to wear face masks that on London's Underground was removed just a few hours after it was painted.
Disguised as a cleaning worker, the famously elusive street artist snuck onto a train car in city's metro and covered it with his signature stencils. His iconic rats were seen parachuting from surgical masks, sneezing, and holding a bottle of hand sanitizer. Banksy completed the work by spray painting the phrase “I get lockdown but I get up again,” — a quarantine reference of the Chumbawamba song “Tubthumping".
Banksy revealed the work in a video posted to Instagram early Tuesday with the caption “If you don’t mask — you don’t get it.”
The work was removed "some days ago" because it was in violation of Transport for London's "strict anti-graffiti policy," a spokesperson for the transportation agency said in a statement to CNN.
But even though the work was quickly removed, it could live again somewhere else in the London underground, knowing the artist.
The spokesperson said TfL appreciated "the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings" and that it would "offer Banksy the chance to do a new version of his message for our customers in a suitable location."
London, which currently has over 34,000 cases of coronavirus according to the government's website, has imposed lockdown rules throughout the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city will make masks mandatory indoors on July 24, however London's mayor Sadiq Khan has been encouraging Londoners to don a face covering before the required date.
This is not Banksy’s first coronavirus-related work. When stuck in lockdown at his home earlier this year, the artist transformed his bathroom into a playground for his token rats. He posted his work to Instagram with the caption, “My wife hates it when I work from home.”
Earlier this year, Bristol, Banksy’s hometown, offered a virtual walking tour of Banksy’s pieces on the walls around town. Anybody could download the Banksy trail app and view some of the artist’s earliest and greatest works while stuck in lockdown in their homes.