Banksy Artwork Stolen: Less than an hour after it was unveiled on the streets of south London, an artwork by the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy was boldly stolen in an act of audacity. The artwork, which is a traffic stop sign with three planes that seem like military drones, was quickly identified as a genuine Banksy painting thanks to a number of mysterious images posted to the artist’s official Instagram account.
Near approximately noon on Friday, the incident happened near Peckham’s Southampton Way and Commercial Way intersection. In a social media video, the heist was shown as two people quickly removed the sign at around 12:30 pm while being watched closely by shocked bystanders. The sound of shocked gasps in the background highlights how bold the theft was.
Banksy himself used social media to verify the authenticity of the work. The artist, though, moved quickly to disassociate himself from the artwork’s removal. Witnesses yelled “oh my god” and expressed indignation at the bold act of theft as one of the robbers made a swift dash with the pilfered stop sign, as seen in the video that has gone viral.
The infamous status of Banksy’s artwork frequently makes it difficult to market stolen items. In a related case from the previous year, three people were imprisoned in France for stealing an artwork by Banksy honoring the victims of the 2015 Paris Bataclan concert hall assault.
In order to stop illegal distribution, Banksy’s authentication procedure, which is overseen by the Pest Control team, certifies the authenticity of artworks. The influence of the theft on the artwork’s worth and the difficulties involved in trading in stolen Banksy paintings are issues brought up by this incident.
The aircraft on a stop sign artwork that was taken has a lot in common with Banksy’s 2017 piece “Civilian Drone Strike,” which sold for £205,000 at the Art The Arms Fair auction to support charitable causes.
Banksy is still making waves in 2023 with his murals, such as “Valentine’s Day Mascara,” a 3.8-ton piece in Margate, Kent. This provocative artwork, which features a 1950s housewife with a bulging eye, is presently available for free public viewing in the Regent Street, central London, foyer of the Art of Banksy show. The newest burglary opens a new chapter in the enigmatic history of Banksy’s mysterious artistic talent. Follow along for updates on this audacious theft and any possible fallout for the art world.