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Banksy artwork valued at £1million could be DEMOLISHED under council plans to build on the site

A Banksy valued at £1million that was whitewashed over could be demolished under council plans to develop the site, it has been revealed.

The giant anti-Brexit mural appeared overnight in May 2017 and featured someone on a step ladder cracking open a star on the European Union flag to symbolise the UK leaving.

In August 2019, just two years later, it was mysteriously painted over before the building was acquired by Dover District Council in September this year.

Today it is at risk of being destroyed and replaced with new builds as a part of a regeneration project in the area. 

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 giant anti-Brexit mural appeared overnight in May 2017 and featured someone on a step ladder cracking open a star on the European Union flag to symbolise the UK leaving. In August 2019, just two years later, it was mysteriously painted over

When it inexplicably disappeared in August 2019, replaced by a white square, Banksy expressed confusion over social media. The street artist asked why it had been painted white and added pictures of his future vision

When it inexplicably disappeared in August 2019, replaced by a white square, Banksy expressed confusion over social media. The street artist asked why it had been painted white and added pictures of his future vision

But art dealer John Brandler, who has several Banksy pieces in his gallery, believes the Dover mural is still in place underneath.

He said destroying it would be like selling the Eiffel Tower for scrap metal or binning the Mona Lisa. Instead he wants to restore it and put it on display in Dover.

The owner of Brandler Galleries in Brentwood, Essex, said although he doesn’t live or work in Dover, he would like to make the town the site of the sixth street art museum in the world.

He said: ‘Getting rid of that mural would be like binning the Mona Lisa – it would be morally criminal. It would be like selling the Eiffel Tower for scrap metal.

‘It reflects an important period in our country’s history, whether you agreed with Brexit or not, and would be an amazing draw to the town if it was re-displayed.

‘It’s like putting a box of chocolates in a drawer at home and saying we haven’t got any – it’s not gone, it’s just been covered over.

‘Dover has the most amazing opportunity to be a go-to place rather than a go-through place.

‘All those people who come through Dover have time to kill, but they’re not spending time and bringing money to the town, are they? They’re spending it on their holidays elsewhere.

Art dealer John Brandler (pictured), who has several Banksy pieces in his art gallery, believes the Dover mural is still in place underneath

Art dealer John Brandler (pictured), who has several Banksy pieces in his art gallery, believes the Dover mural is still in place underneath

‘You’ve got the headliner piece for a street art museum and nothing happens. This isn’t an insignificant £5,000 Banksy; this is a world-famous Banksy.

‘There are five street art museums in the world and I want to create the sixth one and you’ve got the key to getting it in Dover.

‘Now the council owns the building and I believe they want to redevelop it – do the council want to be the ones who destroy the Banksy?

‘Because I can save it; I can make it a community asset by putting it next to other Banksys.

‘Every council knows that retail is dead and you have to create go-to destinations – here you’ve got this amazing asset that people will flock to see.’

Mr Brandler, a collector of the artwork since 2003, has been open about his fraught relationship with the artist but said he is the ‘essence of street art’. 

Banksy, who recently urged fans to go and ‘help themselves’ to clothes from GUESS on Regent Street, slapped the mural on the wall overnight in May 2017, a year after Britain narrowly voted to leave the European Union.

In the polls, Dover swung heavily towards Brexit, with 62.2 per cent wanting to exit the European Union.

Anonymous street artist Banksy slapped the mural on the wall overnight in May 2017, a year after Britain narrowly voted to leave the European Union

Anonymous street artist Banksy slapped the mural on the wall overnight in May 2017, a year after Britain narrowly voted to leave the European Union

In the polls, Dover swung heavily towards Brexit, with 62.2 per cent wanting to exit the European Union

In the polls, Dover swung heavily towards Brexit, with 62.2 per cent wanting to exit the European Union

When it inexplicably disappeared in August 2019, replaced by a white square, Banksy expressed confusion over social media.

The street artist asked why it had been painted white and added pictures of his future vision.

He said on Instagram: ‘Oh. I had planned that on the day of Brexit I was going to change the piece in Dover to this.

‘But seems they’ve painted over it. Nevermind. I guess a big white flag says it just as well.’

A spokesperson for Dover District Council emphasised the building was painted over before they bought the plots and said they are waiting to develop the plans for the Bench Street area.

He said: ‘DDC has acquired the freehold for properties at 8, 10, 11 and 14 Bench Street in Dover as an important step in the council’s bid to secure around £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for the Dover Beacon project.

‘The building on which the Banksy mural was painted is included in this land assembly.

‘However, we would highlight that the mural itself was painted over in August 2019, long before DDC purchased the building in September 2022, and DDC was not in any way part of painting over the mural.

‘Further details on plans for the area will be developed following a decision on the funding bid.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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