Banksy's Valentine’s Day Mascara dismantled hours after being claimed

The artwork with an apparent theme of domestic abuse shows a 1950s-era housewife with a swollen eye and a missing tooth

Banksy's Valentine's Day Mascara before it was dismantled. PA
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A new Banksy wall painting in Kent, which appears to have a theme of domestic abuse and fighting violence against women, has been dismantled hours after the elusive artist claimed it as his work.

It shows a 1950s-era housewife wearing a blue pinafore and yellow washing-up gloves, with a swollen eye and a missing tooth, who looks to be shoving her male partner into a chest freezer placed in front of the painting.

The scene, which is set against a dirty white wall, was surrounded by litter, including a broken garden chair and a blue crate.

The resident of the property where the painting was created, who asked not to be identified, told the PA news agency the freezer and other items used in the artwork had been removed “very quickly” and put into a truck at midday on Tuesday.

“I’m absolutely upset because it’s not really nice," the resident said. "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.”

She said she asked the people who removed the items why they were doing so and they replied that they had been told to do so by the local council.

"They are just doing the task, it’s not their idea but they must do it.”

The tenant said her landlady had tried to send people to guard the artwork but they were unable to before the pieces were removed.

The British street artist shared a series of images of the artwork on Instagram, captioning the piece “Valentine’s Day mascara”. They include close-ups of the woman’s smiling but seemingly battered face.

Banksy throughout the years — in pictures

The Bristol-born artist frequently uses his art to raise awareness of issues, including most recently of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

In December, the anonymous artist said he had created 50 screen-prints which would be sold to raise funds for a charity supporting the people of Ukraine.

Banksy previously confirmed he had spent time in Ukraine after posting a video of an artist spray-painting designs in the war-torn country and speaking to the locals.

Banksy's works in Ukraine — in pictures

Updated: February 14, 2023, 6:37 PM