Banksy has sarcastically praised whoever painted over his anti-Brexit artwork on the wall of a Dover building – saying ‘the white flag says it just as well.’
The artwork – valued at around £1million – appeared on a former amusements arcade near Dover’s busy ferry terminal in May 2017 and showed an EU flag with a workman chipping away one of the stars.
But the artwork was covered up with scaffolding last month, before being smothered in white paint.
Today, on his Instagram, Banksy revealed plans to update the piece ‘on the day of Brexit.’
He added: ‘But seems they’ve painted over it. Nevermind. I guess a big white flag says it just as well.’
A Brexit-themed Banksy mural in Dover has been mysteriously covered up with white paint and scaffolding
It was painted in May 2017 on the side of the Castle Amusements building, but it was covered up with scaffolding last month, before being smothered in white paint
The Godden Gaming Organisation, which owns the building, previously said it was exploring options to remove, maintain or sell the artwork.
Last month, residents noticed that it had been covered up with white paint and scaffolding.
The art on the building in Townwall Street had begun 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 MP previously 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.’
Richland Chester wrote: ‘Given how valuable this art is, isn’t there a case against whoever ordered its destruction? They’ve ruined a valuable, freely-donated, public work of art’
Federico Scala wrote: ‘It was an satire masterpiece, but apparently brexiters [sic] can’t deal with it’
User @CaymanOC disagreed that the mural’s disappearance was a bad thing. They wrote: ‘It’s graffiti, which is vandalism – how can it then be deemed vandalism if it’s removed?! Just because we know of the guy that did it doesn’t take away that he’s painted graffiti on somebody’s property’
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.’
Other Twitter users branded the painting over of the mural as ‘cultural vandalism’.
The Twitter account of a pub in the town, The Mash Tun, wrote: ‘On behalf of the people of #Dover, I would like to deplore the obliteration of our #Banksy. Cultural Vandalism of the highest order.’
Richland Chester wrote: ‘Given how valuable this art is, isn’t there a case against whoever ordered its destruction? They’ve ruined a valuable, freely-donated, public work of art.’
Another, Edmar Meuwissen, wrote: ‘Really really interested in the (political? backgrounds for the destruction of this great piece of art. I hope media will find out all details. Until then share, share, share!’
But others disagreed that the mural’s removal was a bad thing.
User @CaymanOC wrote: ‘It’s graffiti, which is vandalism – how can it then be deemed vandalism if it’s removed?!
‘Just because we know of the guy that did it doesn’t take away that he’s painted graffiti on somebody’s property’.
Scaffolding company Deal Scaffolding said it had been asked to supply scaffolding for general building work but was unaware of any specific purpose.