Banksy's Brexit mural worth £1m lost as building demolished

The famous artwork in Dover is said to be worth around £1m.

A Banksy mural prompted by the UK’s Brexit vote has been destroyed after the building it was painted on was demolished.

The artwork, said to have been valued at around £1m, first appeared in Dover in 2017, the year after Britain voted to leave the EU in a controversial referendum.

The mural, which adorned the Castle Amusements building, depicted a worker chipping away at one of the 12 yellow stars on the blue EU flag.

It had become a tourist landmark in the town, a major gateway into the EU. But in 2019, it disappeared overnight after being whitewashed.

It first appeared in Dover in 2017. / Credit: PA

Now, despite attempts at potentially restoring the work, the building on which it was painted has been demolished as part of a wider regeneration project.

In a statement sent to CNN, a spokesperson for Dover City Council (DDC) said: “Prior to authorising the demolition, and having taken professional conservation advice, DDC determined that the Banksy could not be viably conserved without considerable costs to local taxpayers, even if it were technically possible.”

In an explanation of the project online, the council said it had not been involved in painting or covering up the mural.

Nevertheless, the spokesman said that its contractor – DDS Demolition – is “attempting to see if the Banksy artwork can be conserved in any way.”

He said there was “no certainty” about this “given the fact that the artwork was painted over and the poor state of the render,” but added that the contractors had been “successful in removing stars and a section of the man and ladder intact.”

The artwork was mysteriously whitewashed in 2019. / Credit: PA

The demolition company is meeting all additional costs which will mean that if successful, the artwork would be considered its property.

The elusive artist, whose identity is still widely unknown, has not publicly commented on the demolition.

Though the market value of his work has soared in recent years, Banksy continues to paint images in public spaces that make preservation near impossible – and even invite theft or defacement.

Spy booth, one of Banksy’s most famous murals depicting three secret agents surrounding a phone booth with recording equipment, was destroyed in 2016.

In 2018, the artist famously destroyed one of his own works when moments after selling at auction for $1.4 million (£1.1m) his painting of a girl with a red balloon passed through a shredder.

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