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Dover Banksy mural mysteriously 'disappears'

A mural by street artist Banksy, previously valued at £1million, has "disappeared" from the wall it has adorned for the last two years.

The imposing artwork was painted to the side of the former Castle Amusements building in Townwall Street, Dover, in May 2017.

Since then, the image greeted traffic travelling towards the Port of Dover and become a popular tourist attraction.

The Banksy mural can no longer be seen on the side of the former amusements (15714636)
The Banksy mural can no longer be seen on the side of the former amusements (15714636)

But fears for the future of the piece, which shows a workman chipping away at a star on the European flag, have grown in recent weeks as the paintwork appeared to deteriorate.

And shocked onlookers have noticed that, following the erection of scaffolding on the side of the building, the picture has disappeared.

However, it is not clear if the mural has been permanently removed or has simply been protected to avoid further damage.

Paul Buckthorpe, whose company erected the scaffolding, says he does not know what has happened to the mural.

"I haven't got a clue," he said. "I put the scaffolding up for general repairs to the wall - that's all I knew.

John Brandler says it would be sacrilege for the Banksy mural to be completely removed

"I only found out this morning it had gone. I was quite shocked."

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke told KentOnline at the start of this month that he was pressing Dover District Council to protect the piece.

"The Banksy mural should be preserved for the town. It has become an iconic piece of culture that draws visitors to Dover," he said.

“As part of our Save our Banksy campaign we applied to have the building listed.

“Historic England would not do so. However, it can be preserved by the council using their planning powers.

How the Banksy mural looked
How the Banksy mural looked

“That’s why I have been pressing the council to take steps to Save Our Banksy.”

The former amusements is owned by the family of Jim Godden, who inherited his property portfolio after his death seven years ago.

Local authority leader Cllr Keith Morris said the council has been in negotiations with the Goddens and that “all options are open - whether that be restoring it, removing it, keeping it there without the building or keeping it there with the building”.

Representatives for the family have been approached for comment.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover


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