Banksy’s famous Brexit mural mysteriously disappears from the side of a Dover building

Aug 25, 2019, 9:17 PM
DOVER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: A painting depicting a workman chipping away at a star on the EU flag ...
DOVER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: A painting depicting a workman chipping away at a star on the EU flag by artist Banksy is seen on January 03, 2019 in Dover, England. The port town of Dover, on England's south coast is the home of the famous White Cliffs, and the international gateway for the movement of passengers and trade into and from Europe. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

DOVER, England (CNN) — Banksy’s mural of a workman chiseling away at a star in the European Union flag mysteriously disappeared from the side of a building in Dover, England, over the weekend.

The mural, which adorned the Castle Amusements building since 2017, symbolized Brexit, the United Kingdom’s impending departure from the EU.

David Joseph Wright, who is from Dover, told CNN that four-tier scaffolding was erected beside the famous street artist’s mural on Saturday and the artwork was gone by the next morning.

The mural had become a landmark in Dover, the ferry port that connects the UK with France. Tourists had often stopped to see the painting and take selfies with an original Banksy.

“Why??? I can’t understand why they’ve whitewashed this masterpiece,” Lisa Green-Jones, a resident of Dover, said on Facebook.

“It’s an absolutely tragedy. I had family over from Ireland recently and when we got to town the first thing they said was can we go see the Banksy.”

The Godden family, which owns the building on which the mural is painted, had previously expressed interest in selling the artwork, according to The Telegraph.

“We can confirm that we are exploring options for the retention, removal or sale of the piece.” the family said in a statement in 2017, adding that they “will look to benefit local charities with proceeds from any sale of the piece.”

Although it’s not yet clear whether the Brexit-themed mural was taken away or painted over, its sudden disappearance left locals uneasy.

“I don’t mind it being covered up as it was criminal damage by graffitiing on the building (which is) marked to be demolished and now it’s gone,” said Wright.

He said he was glad it would no longer remind him of Brexit, before expressing trepidation for the future.

“I want to remain in the EU and I am fearing what’s going happen when we leave the EU on October 31,” he said.

Other Dover residents took to social media to voice their anger over the mural’s disappearance.

“On behalf of the people of Dover, I would like to deplore the obliteration of our Banksy. Cultural vandalism of the highest order,” tweeted Dover resident Peter Garstin.

“Don’t think I have ever heard of another town, village or city etc that have ever painted over a “Banksy”! OMG Dover what are you doing!” Zara White said on Facebook.

Street artist Banksy has yet to comment on the disappearance of his work.

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Banksy’s famous Brexit mural mysteriously disappears from the side of a Dover building