In London, a new anti-war artwork by the British street artist Banksy was stolen less than an hour after he authenticated it on Instagram earlier today, December 22.
Footage circulating online shows two men removing the work, a stop sign onto which Banksy had painted three aircraft resembling the American MQ-9 Reaper drones, recently seen flying over Gaza.
Onlookers are heard muttering “Oh, my god,” and “makes me so annoyed,” as a man is seen fleeing the scene with artwork.
Banksy depicted the same series of aircraft in a 2017 artwork titled “Civilian Drone Strike,” in which the unmanned vessels soar over a framed childlike drawing of a girl with her pet witnessing the bombing of a house. The work was displayed at the Art the Arms Fair, an event organized by artists and activists to protest against a weapons trade show in London.
Meanwhile, the Banksy-designed Walled Off Hotel in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the West Bank has been shuttered since October 12, citing the escalation in the region. The artist has also painted murals in Gaza whose fate is currently unknown.