Banksy freezer art taken away from roadside again

Homeowners want to help charities that work with abused women

The artwork appears to show a 1950s housewife with a swollen eye, missing a tooth, and apparently shutting a man in a freezer. AFP
Powered by automated translation

A Valentine’s Day artwork by Banksy has been removed from its original site for the second time in three days.

The mural, titled Valentine's Day Mascara, which features a freezer, broken chair and crate placed in front of the artwork on the gable end of a house, was first removed on Tuesday and then returned to its original site in Margate by Thanet District Council.

But on Thursday, the artwork was moved again, this time by the owners of the property on which the mural is painted, with the help of London's Red Eight Gallery, and put into storage for safekeeping.

The homeowners had called the gallery to request help in preserving the artwork.

The gallery said it had placed the freezer in storage while efforts were being made to find a permanent home for the complete piece.

The piece shows a woman in 1950s-style dress, wearing a pinny and yellow washing-up gloves.

She also has a swollen eye and a missing tooth and is seemingly closing the lid of a chest freezer on her male partner, whose legs are sticking out.

It appeared to have a theme opposing domestic abuse and violence against women.

“The homeowners have stipulated that they wish a local charity supporting prevention of domestic abuse against women to benefit, along with the piece being used to raise awareness in Margate and nationally,” Red Eight chief executive Julian Usher said.

“We are in conversation with civil engineers and building contractors regarding the safe removal of the piece.

“Regarding the freezer, the council removed it to make it safe and we have protected the wall with a Perspex cover.

“The freezer has been returned by the council and is currently in storage for safe-keeping.”

Mr Usher added the homeowner was “grateful” for Banksy's gift and would do “everything possible” to promote the prevention of domestic abuse, honour the Margate community and preserve the artwork.

On Tuesday, Banksy confirmed he was behind the mural by sharing a series of photos of the piece on Instagram.

The homeowners added: “We were not in our wildest dreams expecting this. Without the support and quick actions of Red Eight Gallery, we have no doubt the artwork would not still be intact.

“We'll do our best to respect the major parties involved but our key focus is raising the awareness of domestic abuse against women.”

A representative for Thanet District Council said officers had removed the freezer for health and safety reasons.

Updated: February 16, 2023, 6:51 PM