Thanet council says freezer will be returned to site of Banksy art work in Margate

Banksy art minus the chest freezer Photo Frank Leppard

Thanet council says the chest freezer removed from the Banksy artwork in Margate this morning (February 14) will be returned once it has been “made safe.”

The ‘Valentine’s Day Mascara’ artwork, commenting on domestic violence, appeared yesterday morning (February 13) and was confirmed as a Banksy original on the artist’s Instagram today.

Photo Frank Leppard

It featured a 50’s style housewife, who has a swollen eye and missing tooth, pushing the man inside the freezer with just his legs visible, with a turned up chair and beer bottle on the ground nearby.

However, council workers removed the freezer today, breaking the illusion of the artwork. The authority has now released a statement saying the freezer will be returned and talks are due to take place to discuss how to preserve the artwork.

The freezer is now removed Photo Dan Bambridge Higgins

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “We are aware that the graffiti artist known as Banksy has confirmed that the mural that has appeared recently in Margate is his.

“The graffiti is situated on a wall of a privately owned property. A fridge freezer which is believed to have been part of the installation has been removed by council operatives on the grounds of safety as it was on public land.

“The fridge freezer is now in storage and will be returned once it has been made safe to the public. We will be contacting the owner of the property to discuss the options to preserve the artwork for the district.”

Photo Louis McLaren

Banksy’s stencils feature striking and, often darkly humorous, images occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. The arts are worth huge sums of money.

Some residents have questioned the speed with which the freezer was removed, pointing out piles of rubbish and fly-tipped items are visible across the town.

Just up the road from the Bansky sight (in view) Photo Davide Restifo

Resident Davide Restifo said: “The council saying it was removed for safety reason is a bit short sided, considering that there is a side road next to the Banksy with a pile of rubbish and wood full of nails.”

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Find help information from Oasis Domestic Abuse service at and click the ‘exit now’ button to erase all traces from your Internet history.

Call Kent Domestic Abuse Services Victim Support on 0808 168 9276

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Call 0808 801 0327.

Margate wall painting confirmed as piece by street artist Banksy

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    • That seems to be the case – and yet the whole issue now is that a further pile of rubbish down the road (as pictured in the article) was not removed by the same lorry at the same time . . .

  1. So dont only did banksy graffiti a house he also dumped a freezer in which a kid could have suffocated. But it’s in the name of art so it’s ok.

  2. TDC to be charged with dumping of household rubbish when the freezer is returned……..
    Lets see what the enforcement offers do.

  3. “Art was better in my day” cave dweller 1

    “Aye, it was on cave walls, proper art” cave dweller 2

    “Everything is rubbish these days” 1&2 in unison.

    Get a room you two. The flirting is too much.

  4. Please don’t lose sight of the domestic abuse that Banksy was trying to highlight. If this helps just one person to think twice about subjecting another person to verbal or physical abuse then it will have served its purpose well.

    • Spot on. I’m frankly surprised at the detractors on this thread. That, to me, suggests some really dark things about themselves. Namely, there is a tacit belief that ‘corrective’ measures against women is somehow ok…as long as they don’t have two black eyes. Shakespeare…”the lady doth protest too much, methinks”. (Obvious the commentators and not “she”.

      • regardless of the message , its vandalism and they even took the freezer away ,made it safe then dumped it back, if i were to spray on someones wall id be arrested

        • Wesky, your missing the point! The council are philistines destroying a work of art worth millions! Its a play on words, The St Valentines Day Massacre (not Mascara!) took place when gangsters fell out on that day and had a shoot out in the US! Think it was Al Capone?

          • Its not a work of art though mate, its spray paint graffiti on someones property and fly tipping,i dont mind some graffiti, ive photographed lots over the years, but thats what it is, purely someone breaking the law painting on peoples property

  5. Jaypee

    I agree domestic abuse victims need to help and support.

    But banksy fly tipped a freezer which a kiddie could have clumped in, its half term and kids are out and about. If banksy had wielded the door closed it couldnt happen but he didnt.

    So now TDC ( us as tax payers ) are paying to have it taken away, made safe, than tipped back by TDC !

    • Not sure how anyone can get trapped in a freezer which doesn’t have a lock or any kind of latch on the door. If you look a bit closer you’ll see that the door was actually stuck open.
      The “making it safe” was TDCs excuse for ordering it to be taken away and then discovering that it was part of a Banksy.

  6. More DFL coming down here and doing Arty stuff. Life was better before house prices went up, sour dough was available everywhere and there was still a McDonald’s in Ramsgate High Street.

    Who needs a Banksy on a house, when I can go buy a knock off Banksy fone case in one of the mobile /vape shops in town. That reminds me, there used to be far more places to get a phone screen fixed, before all these independent coffee shops, galleries and lifestyle stores opened.

    Let’s get Brexit done.

  7. You are a clueless fool. This will bring so much money to the local economy. Thus create taxes.

    Anyone who puts (us as tax payers) is usually paying in far less than they take out…. Honestly this is not an issue that is draining our taxes.

  8. At last the council admits leaving fridges and freezers are a health hazard, so why do not remove the dozens of them littered across the isle

    • Almost amusing that your original comment has been removed along with the critical responses to it and you’ve changed direction in this one.
      However i would agree that it would be nice if tdc responded to all reports of fly tipping this fast.

      • My sincere apologies i’d not noticed that there were two very similar articles , my comments are completely incorrect.

  9. Let’s hope it can be preserved as a further draw to tourists coming to the town. More money and visitors will be good for the area.

    I’ve not even bothered to read the comments as I’m sure they are going to be full of the usual suspects moaning and groaning but not actually coming up with any solutions.

  10. At least this latest escapade can move us on from the blushes of the last TDC embarrassment that went global.

    Seabourne Ferries anyone?

    The ferry company without any ferries.

    And let’s not pretend it’s about fly tipping. How absurd.

  11. It’s a mad world when someone vandalises private property, fly tips on council owned land, people start mass trespassing on council land, and the council are the ones at fault !!!

  12. The artwork is meant to make a comment on domestic violence but most comments here are about fly tipping. Point made, Banksy is genius. Perhaps the point is to you really think about what the most urgent issue. The council removing the fridge creates more engagement/comments, I think that was the plan. Again genius.

    • it needs painting over and bansky found and fined for vandalism, what the dickens is wrong with you people, if i painted something like this on a wall id be arrested

  13. shoddy reporting. The female figure is closing the fridge not ” pushing the man in”
    you all need to calm down,it really isn’t that big a deal and you should thank him for raising awareness for 2 separate issues… domestic abuse and the state of our streets. He’s done more in one day than the rest of you keyboard warriors put together. If you were that bothered about your precious children you would have done more than complain about some images sprayed on a wall by now.Let’s face it , it’s the biggest publicity your area is likely to get.and there are far more serious events happening in the world that should concern you right now. A lot of you should be embarrassed by your comments. Not a great reflection for your area. I read this article and I’m way up north so don’t think people aren’t reading what you have to say.

    • Presumably the man isn’t supposed to have just climbed in the freezer. His legs are sticking up so I’d say pushed/shoved in (dead or alive).

  14. Ah, so fly tipping is a criminal offence with huge fines being levied, unless you are famous/in the ‘art’ crowd & then not only can you do it with no repercussions, but TDC bosses will fly tip it back there themselves, when the local luvvies deem it an artistic masterpiece.

    Good to have confirmation of where the plebs stand & also good to know that TDC endorse murder as a response to domestic violence, rather than the law of the land.

  15. I think this put TDC in a very awkward position.

    Does TDC leave this graffiti and fly tipping ?

    If yes I cant see how TDC can fine anyone else for doing the same.

    We live in an equal society and you shouldn’t discriminate against people.

    So now we have a situation where who decides what graffiti and fly tipping can stay and which cant.

    What will TDC do if someone else graffiti on someone else’s property and dumps a sofa and claim its art. Is it left ?

    Nothing against banksy but it seems he is above the law and that’s the bit I disagree with. If he had done this in the TC no problems.

    The picture never this banksy is not fly tipping its art showing how poor thanet is maintenance and how lazy people of thanet are. It was put their by a budding local artist to highlight the amount of mess dumped by todays society.
    I hope this pile of art receives the same attention as the art just up the road.

    • Graffiti isn’t a TDC issue, they don’t own the building, they have no right to remove it. the rubbish dumped on their land on the other hand….

  16. Murder?

    You mean the one where 2 women a week in the UK are murdered thru domestic violence?

    That murder?

    I’m not sure what is more embarrassing for Thanet. The actions of TDC or some of the comments on here.

    • I’d say the latter Alice, unfortunately my comment doesn’t seem to have been posted from last night.Perhaps because I said the article contains shoddy journalism,at least report facts. Comments posted by the majority on here has so far been embarrassing for the area,in my opinion. Banksy has brought a lot of attention to an area that has been trying to regenerate for years. Apparently there’s no such thing as bad publicity unless you’re reading these narrow minded opinions of locals. Banksy isn’t the problem he just draws attention to them…he didn’t fly tip, the lazy residents did, he just made something thought provoking from it regarding the valentine’s Day massacre and all they comment about is the rubbish that has clearly been there for a while.

      • Your comment was in moderation because you are a new commentator (and I was in bed so it was not approved until this morning).

    • It’s a dead heat, we know we have a handful of older males on here, snowflakes that are offended at everything and somehow think “they are a minority” and their civil liberties are being infringed by everything and anything. The education system failed them years ago and they never caught up. The use any narrative to say “this is sexist against males” sad and pathetic and not at all aware of issue women face daily coz of predatory violent males, that have normalised violence on women and a system that allows this.

      I say this as a man, and not a young one.

      • this has nothing to do with most of what you say, its the fact its fly tipping and vandalism despite the carefully placed message to get wanksy as much credit as he can for more vandalism

    • Some are indeed, but if you think a proportionate response to domestic violence is to kill the perpetrator & stuff him/her in a freezer, rather than calling the police, then that is more than embarrassing, it is a downright dangerous & lawless mentality.

  17. This would all be quite funny really ….. except many of us are frustrated as hell at the council’s inability or unwillingness to keep up with basic, everyday stuff. Yeah, I like the mural, I do. But this never-ending magical thinking about how this or that creative exploit will bring prosperity to Margate … sorry, it does not work. A bit of litter is one thing but we’re wading through cr*p here. The rubbish strewn around almost everywhere is fast getting beyond unsightly into a rather more hazardous zone. I think that is why the time and money consuming issue of the artistically significant freezer hits a bum note.

  18. I think we have things the wrong way round. Leave the freezer and remove the Council instead.
    It is a moot point though. When does fly-tipping become art? Is it when Banksy makes use of a discarded freezer as part of a picture, or when Wevsky scrawls something on the wall?
    Is it only art when a celebrity artist does it?
    Was Thanet DC’s removal of the freezer part of an agit-prop art installation? Is TDC’s every word now part of that art installation? Have I been taking drugs or am I going mad?
    At least this story is better than hearing about a case of bestiality in Dover.
    My God, East Kent has certainly done itself proud! I thought with all these DFL’s buying homes in the area, something positive might come out of it, but no, the depths are plumbed ever lower! We really need to stop blaming others and look at what we are doing. Banksy used the freezer for a reason, firstly to point out the level of domestic abuse still tolerated today, and secondly to highlight the culture that is prepared to make a deprived area, look even more deprived by dumping rubbish everywhere.

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