Banksy artwork removed within hour of it being confirmed as authentic

A Banksy artwork has been removed from a south London street less than an hour after it was confirmed as a genuine installation.

The artist confirmed the work, a traffic stop sign covered with three aircraft said to resemble military drones, was his, in a social media post on Friday shortly after midday.

Two men were seen taking down the sign at the intersection of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham at about 12.30pm.

Banksy unveils new art work
The work was removed (Aaron Chown/PA)

It is understood Banksy is not behind the removal.

This is not the first time Banksy’s art work has been removed shortly after its creation.

A mural weighing 3.8 tonnes called Valentine’s Day Mascara appeared on the side of a house in Margate, Kent, on Valentine’s Day this year and was dismantled some hours after Banksy had shared a series of photos of it online.

The mural depicted a 1950s’ housewife with a swollen eye and missing tooth, wearing an apron and yellow washing-up gloves, and throwing a man into a chest freezer.

At the time the resident of the property where the painting was created, who asked not to be named, told the PA news agency the freezer and other items including a broken garden chair used for the artwork had been removed “very quickly” and put into a truck.

In September the mural was placed in the foyer of The Art of Banksy exhibition in Regent Street, central London.

The exhibition featured pieces including Girl With Balloon, Flower Thrower and Rude Copper and focused on Banksy’s Dismaland, The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem and recent works acknowledging the ongoing war in Ukraine.

An exhibition also opened at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) this year for a limited run and showcased 25 years of Banksy’s stencil graffiti.

Banksy artwork
It is understood Banksy is not behind the removal (Aaron Chown/PA)

Cut & Run included authentic artefacts, ephemera and the artist’s toilet, as well as a model that explained how the artist shredded Girl With Balloon during an auction at Sotheby’s in London in 2018.

In August, a message on, said that organisers now “want to take this show on the road but have no idea where to go to next”.

The artist often refers to contemporary issues and in 2020 included messages about the Coronavirus pandemic in his work.

Transport for London (TfL) removed spray paint in a London Underground carriage due to what they called their “strict anti-graffiti policy”.