Banksy Brexit-themed mural hidden by paint and scaffolding
A Brexit-themed Banksy mural in Dover has been mysteriously covered up with white paint and scaffolding.
The artwork appeared on a former amusements arcade near Dover’s busy ferry terminal and showed an EU flag with a workman chipping away one of the stars.
It was painted in May 2017 on the side of the Castle Amusements building, which had been set to be demolished.
The Godden Gaming Organisation, which owns the building, previously said it was exploring options to remove, maintain or sell the artwork.
However, on Sunday, residents noticed that it had been covered up with white paint and scaffolding.
It is currently unclear whether the artwork has been painted over or removed for preservation or sale.
After the mural appeared and was confirmed to be by Banksy through the artist’s Instagram, the work was valued at about £1 million.
The art on the building in Townwall Street recently began to deteriorate, prompting calls from Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke to protect the piece.
The building is owned by the late Jim Godden and his family, who own a range of amusements and arcades across Kent and the south of England.
The Conservative MP has now called on Dover District Council to save the artwork if it does remain intact.
He wrote on Twitter: “Very disappointed by the disappearance of the Dover Banksy. A culturally iconic statement on our times.
“We asked Historic England to use their powers to protect this work but they refused. This is the result. They should hang their heads in shame.”
Mr Elphicke added: “Historic England have previously listed the Abbey Road crossing and even a 1960s Bournemouth bus depot described as ‘hideous’. If they are going to list things like that, they should have listed an iconic and culturally important piece of art like our Banksy.”
Scaffolding company Deal Scaffolding said it had been asked to supply scaffolding for general building work but was unaware of any specific purpose.
The Godden Gaming Organisation has been contacted for comment.