The piece, called ‘Valentine’s day mascara’ appeared to reference domestic violence, depicting a woman with swollen black eye and a missing tooth hutting what appears to be a man in a freezer.
Having appeared overnight in typical Banksy style, the anonymous artist claimed it as his own on his Instagram page, but just a few hours later, the freezer was removed by Thanet District Council workers.
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Today, the council has announced the return of the freezer to its original position, citing public health and safety for its removal in the first place.
A statement from the council reads: “The freezer which council operatives removed from the Banksy installation in Margate has now been made safe. It has been returned to its original position at the site of the artwork today (Wednesday 15 February 2023).
“The council has a duty to ensure the ongoing safety of the public; it was necessary to carry out works to the freezer for health and safety reasons,” it continued.
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“Banksy raises the important issue of domestic abuse in this artwork. We are in touch with the owner of the property to understand their intentions around the preservation of the piece and to secure the best possible outcome for the local community and victims of domestic abuse.”
The removal of the freezer caused originally caused a stir yesterday, with a number of local residents complaining that its removal devalued the art.
The tenant who lives at the property (and wished not to be named) where the mural was created told BBC at the time: “I’m absolutely upset because it’s not really nice. It was part of the art, they should be very happy because Margate could get bigger attention, positive attention.
“Why did they move those parts? It’s just silly,” they continued.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins