Published: 16:58, 26 August 2019
| Updated: 17:28, 26 August 2019
An art dealer and Banksy expert has described the potential loss of Dover's Banksy as "an act of sacrilege" following the piece's disappearance over the weekend.
John Brandler is the owner of Brandler Galleries in Essex, and has been dealing in Banksy's since 2003.
The piece was previously valued at around £1million but it could be much greater.
John Brandler spoke to KMTV about the mural
"I was flabbergasted," he said. "This is a Banksy that is famous, one that whenever there is an article about Brexit, they show it, globally, on television.
"The people of Kent, and the people of Dover in particular, should be so proud of having this piece.
"This piece is famous. It’s an act of sacrilege to destroy it. If they have, he’s not going to go back and give the people of Dover a second bite of the cherry."
However, Mr Brandler is hoping that the 'disappearance' of the piece and the erecting of scaffolding might hold a different meaning.
He said: "I’m hoping the council have stabilised it, rather than removed it. If I was a vandal and I didn’t like that Banksy, I would just take all the plaster off the wall and destroy it.
"There is the opportunity to use it as the draw to get people out of their motors before their ferry. They can walk through the underpass to see the Banksy and then see the other draws of the town.
"It can be used as a linchpin, a cornerstone of street art events or a museum. Instead of making Dover a 'go through' place, they can make it a 'go to' place. The money will flow into the town, not through the harbour."
When asked whether or not he thought Banksy could return to repaint or do another piece if this one has been destroyed, Mr Brandler said:"No, absoutely not.
"If you go to a restaurant or cafe and they’re extremely rude to you, you don’t go back do you?
"He painted a piece in Clacton [-on-sea] in Essex, and within 24 hours it had been water-jetted off the wall by the council. He’s never been back."