Freezer removed from Banksy art work in Margate for second time – with art due to be removed next

The Banksy art work in Margate Photo Frank Leppard

The saga of the freezer prop from the Banksy art work in Margate continues after it was removed once again last night (February 15).

It has not been removed by Thanet council and is being held in storage by a gallery, named as Red Eight Gallery by ITV, for ‘security’ purposes. They were called in by the owner of the property that the work has been stencilled on.

Red Eight Gallery chief exec Julian Usher said the gallery plans to remove the entire installation and display it. Turner Contemporary has been approached about exhibiting the work.

Photo Frank Leppard

(Update) Mr Usher said: “I can confirm that we have been instructed by the house owner to handle the safe removal and promotion while a permanent home is sought. However, they have stipulated that they wish a local charity supporting prevention of domestic abuse against women to benefit along with the piece being used to raise awareness in Margate and nationally.

“We have reached out to Turner Contemporary art gallery and are in conversation with civil engineers and building contractors regarding the safe removal of the piece.

“Regarding the freezer, the council removed it to make it safe and we have protected the wall with a Perspex cover. The freezer has been returned by the council and is currently in storage for safe keeping until it can be reunited with the art once the wall has been removed.

“The owner is very grateful for the gist that Banksy has given them and they will do everything possible to raise awareness, continuing the message Banksy is promoting.

“The owners feel the weight of responsibility placed on them with this unexpected turn of events and will do everything they can to promote the message around domestic abuse, honour the significant interests of the Margate community whilst preserving the art work for posterity.”

Photo Frank Leppard

The owner of the property which the Banksy is stencilled on said: “We were not in our wildest dreams expecting this. Without the support and quick actions of Red Eight Gallery we have no doubt the art work would not still be intact. We’ll do our best to respect the major parties involved but our key focus is raising awareness of domestic abuse against women.”

In 2021 a property owner in Lowestoft removed an entire wall which Banksy had stencilled. Workmen then cut the artwork out from the brick.

Last year Red Eight Gallery held the first Banksy exhibition in the City of London, called Banking on Banksy, as the venue’s launch event.

The exhibition contained more than 35 Banksy works, from originals to screen prints to sculptures including many of his popular pieces and some of his less well known works.

The piece in Margate, titled Valentine’s Day Mascara, appeared on the wall of a property in Park Place (rear of Grosvenor Place) overnight on February 12/13 and originally showed a woman with a swollen shut eye and missing tooth with a man’s legs poking out from a chest freezer, alongside an upturned chair and a beer bottle. It is understood to be a comment on domestic violence.

After the freezer was taken the first time Photo John Horton

However, the work used a chest freezer with a jammed open lid as a prop and this was removed by Thanet council on February 14 to be ‘made safe’ as it was on public land. Council workers returned the freezer to the site yesterday but it was taken away yet again last night.

A new protective covering was also put over the stencil work yesterday by gallery workers.

Photo: Bea Belicza

Since the freezer was removed for the second time, locals have been bringing their own replacements!

Freezer returned to Banksy art work in Margate which highlights issue of domestic abuse

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  1. A scrap piece of junk is now being held for security reasons, what a joke all this has become, will it ever end, still gives this rag much clicks on the website

    • Good for them! If someone is going to graffiti on a person’s wall (not to mention have the national press outside their property), then that person may as well profit from it. If it was me, I’d also invite an “expert” in to see how much my unmade bed was worth.

  2. i hope banksy is paying for all the trouble hes caused , i dont want this coming out of my rates ! and he seems he can get thanet council to get of thier ar*es and to do something , we never can, or is it because the national press is all over it ?

  3. Time to paint over it to stop the greed of people trying to cash in.
    How do you remove a section of a brick wall anyway?

  4. Well done Kathy for keeping us updated I’m told someone has complained to the council about the Banksy “graffiti encouraging others to deface properties”

  5. So, reported on twitter by another local rag, the owner of the house is willing to sell the work or “art” and donate the proceeds to some charity.. people are in the process of working out how to remove the brickwork..

    You’re welcome

  6. That freezer will be on ebay in a couple of weeks . Listed as famous modern art. And some rich muppet would probably buy it.

  7. The domestic abuse angle has triggered some people but not victims of domestic abuse. Older gentleman that don’t understand it at all. Maybe they could call through to the kitchen and get their wife explain it to them. If they didn’t leave them years ago.

  8. I am confused now lol

    I thought the arty sector were saying how good this is for thanet. It will bring 1000′ of visitors and booster thanets economy. But now it’s being removed so not doing any of the above lol.

    Its has cost us rates pays financial for the freezers removal, than return by TDC. Now it’s gone again. Why didnt TDC just take it to where it’s being stored ?

    Have TDC made a statement on what is art and what is graffiti. Along with what is fly tipping and which is art.

    Because I am sure our local graffiti artist would like to know along with our local fly tippers.

  9. One wonders if this whole thing was dreamed up by Turder, TDC/KCC & Banksy together for publicity? If so it has backfired spectacularly. Total farce.

    • Yeah Banksy needs to work with TDC for publicity.

      What a stupid theory and how has it back fired, because a few old snowflakes on here melted over it.

      It’s made national press and there is a nice buzz about it in most sensible areas of discussion.

      • Yes, I considered it briefly & then remembered that TDC/KCC/Turder don’t have the brains to pull off such an exercise with the feted, attention seeking fly-tipper & like most conspiracy theories surrounding government etc it is just good old incompetence/ineptitude at play.

        Stupid as it may be, it is still not as stupid as TDC taking away a piece of illegally fly-tipped waste & then returning it the next day, thus illegally fly-tipping themselves.

  10. Guess where it is going to end up, yep, got in one, the Turner Contemporary, and that’s the last we will see of it , while they ‘curate it’.
    It enough to make old Checksfield’s records flop! Anytime soon we will see rants about what is art, and who is unwoke (non-woke, never-woke?) enough to create it!
    At least it is more entertaining than a bunch of silly actors finger pointing about who gets nominated to receive a lump of bronze covered in 24 carat gold! They are silly people, bleating about a self -regarding profession. At least artists (well some of them) produce something.
    They might have something to moan about if the were buried under one of Erdogan’s jerry built apartment blocks or on the receiving end of one of Putin’s Oscars ( NATO nomenclature for a class of submarine)!

  11. Why is it going to a gallery inn London, there are many galleries inn Margate, Turner etc, why not give it to one of them?

  12. According to the BBC ‘South East Today’ news, the Margate Banksy is going to be removed and exhibited in London by Red Eight Gallery. The chest freezer is on TDC property, giving them rights to the freezer (nice earner for TDC), and the art is on a private residence.

  13. TDC own the chest freezer (nice earner for TDC), as it was on their property. The art belongs to the private resident who owns the wall.

  14. I am glad the conversation has turned to the message behind the artwork of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, any gender or sexual orientation and all of it is tragic and wrong. Where the issue becomes dangerous for women is when the abuse turns violence. In this country the homicide rate of female victims by male perpetrators is significantly higher then male victims by female perpetrators.

  15. Domestic abuse is high in Thanet. So is fly tipping. Good for Banksy to get everyone talking about both issues. And hilarious responses a round. Thanks for covering it all so well, Kathy.

  16. No one has mentioned that the white plastic chair in the original photo on Banksy’s Twitter page was switched for a brown chair. Surely that would affect the value.

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