Removal of Banksy art work from Margate home now taking place

The art will be cut from the wall Photos Frank Leppard

Work is underway to remove the Banksy art work  which was stencilled on to a house in Margate’s Park Place last month.

The Valentine’s Day Mascara image appeared on the private home overnight on February 13. It is now due to be moved to Dreamland for a period of at least 12 months before it is sold.

Thanet-based Oasis Domestic Abuse Service will receive ‘a significant, six-figure sum’ from the sale of the art work to support its work with survivors of domestic violence.

Work began inside the property last week and is understood to have involved removing flooring. The tenants are currently staying in an Air B&B.

The art will need to be cut out of the wall and hoardings have gone up around the site in readiness for this.

Valentine’s Day Mascara by artist Banksy Photo Frank Leppard

The works are being overseen by Red Eight Gallery which was called in by the artist owners of the property last month to deal with preservation and sale of the work.

Red Eight Gallery chief exec Julian Usher said: “Work has started on the removal process. The builders and engineers are preparing the house so it is ready for the area to be removed and can be cut out safely.

“Once out – the target date for removal is Tuesday/Wednesday next week – it will go to the art conservator to be made stable and exhibit ready with the freezer reinstated.

“The target date for arrival at Dreamland is April 7-10 but this is still a moving part.”

The work is expected to be displayed on a stand at Dreamland for a duration of at least 12 months, possibly longer. It isn’t Banksy’s first association with Dreamland. In November 2013 he visited an open day at the site arranged by people including Thanet artist Dan Thompson to mark the park’s move to public ownership.

He left a tag on the park comment wall which is now owned by the Dreamland Heritage Trust.

In 2015 he went on to create art project Dismaland in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset.

The Banksy art work in Margate Photo Frank Leppard

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 – before items were removed – 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.

The chest freezer with a jammed open lid as a prop 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 the following day but it was taken away yet again the same night by the gallery to be stored.

Domestic violence – get help

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

To get non-emergency domestic abuse support call Oasis’s helpline on 0800 917 9948 (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 9am – 4.30pm) or email [email protected] if it’s safe to do so

In an emergency call 999. If you can’t speak, cough or tap the handset then press 55 on your phone – the police will know it’s an emergency.

Call Kent Domestic Abuse Services Victim Support on 0808 168 9276

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is run by Refuge and offers free, confidential support 24 hours a day to victims and those who are worried about friends and loved ones. Telephone: 0808 2000 247

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them.

Call 0808 801 0327.


  1. “It’s not art”
    “Ah not this story again”

    Just saving the normal posters time.

    • Yes and for some of the homeless it doesn’t matter what you do for them, they are always going to end up back there. I know from a family experience. At least the money from this Banksy sale is going to an excellent cause.

    • One of the good things about art galleries is that they don’t have fights between people who like an artwork and those who don’t like it- their visitors are much more tolerant, in this respect, than many football supporters.

      • That’s because those that don’t like it,find something better to do with their time,than indulge in pretence,to impress their peers.

      • People go into the Turner for two reasons-either they are pretentious & like gazing at bits of rags & shapes stuck on walls for hours-while pontificating the brilliance of it all. Or they are people who want to use the toilet, get out of the rain &/or have a laugh at the rubbish in there.

        Charge an entrance fee & barely anybody would go in there-the people running it know that & that is why they insist on keeping it free & getting millions from KCC, TDC & the arts council every year.

        • Have you ever been there?

          If yes,why?

          If no, don’t talk about what you have not experienced.

          • Of course not. But I have seen it all on their website, on the local BBC & ITV Meridian News over the years & it always looks like a joke.

            This Strawman argument is the same as saying you have never been a chef in a restaurant or directed a film-so you can never call out bad food or a bad movie.

            I haven’t experienced the local Crack Houses either-but I don’t need to go to them to know what it is going to be like inside. I have never ventured down a sewer either, but I know what they look & smell like.

          • If you’ve never been in a particular restaurant, then you have no grounds for either criticizing or praising its food. The same goes for galleries and museums.

  2. Oh good grief Steve. You are wrong again. People who go to art galleries are not always pretentious, though I expect some are. STOP ASSUMING THAT ALL MODERN ART IS RUBBISH.

    Some years ago when the then government wanted museums and galleries to have entry fees, there was such a backlash that the idea was shelved.

    • Different with football Phyllida I choose to spend 70quid of my money on going to a game.

      TC doesnt charge a penny and lives of our taxes. Why cant TC charge an entrance fee ?

      • I’m not interested in football, where some players are paid disgustingly high fees, which is partly if not wholly why people such as “Happy Manc” are paying £7o for a ticket to watch a game of football.

        • Think you are missing the point Phyllida !

          If I am happy to pay 70quid why arent the arty community happy to pay to visit TC ?

          Why does the arty community need our taxes to survive ? I could argue that arty people are happy to pay millions for an unmade bed. Which think is personally disgusting that someone spends that on a dirty bed

          • Many people who buy artworks are not at all “arty”, but like to own paintings, sculptures and so on. Some of these buyers are extremely rich and some of them aren’t particularly well-off. That’s why there are many sorts of art galleries.

            I find all sorts of sport extremely dull but I don’t pour vitriolic obscene hatred about footballers, cricketers and so on all over the comments section. I just don’t read any articles about sport.

        • “Artists” such as Emin are also paid obscene amounts for garbage like An Unmade Bed.However,the pretentious metropolitan elite believe it is great artistic talent.

    • I didn’t say they were & I can understand gazing at actual classic paintings for long periods. But how long can you look at this stuff for?

      I don’t assume that all modern art is rubbish-I actually praised some of it here recently & it is a pity those people with learning problems of varying degrees get little to no funding, while millions are thrown at the stickle bricks & old rags brigade every year.

  3. Phyllida,that is because,if you were to charge entrance fee to pretentious places ,like The Turder,few people would visit it.Many tolerate it,because it is a freebie.

    • Eric.It’s called the Turner, and you may as well stop calling it the Turder because that only makes you look like a teenager who’s trying to annoy the adults.

  4. I’m still curious as to how they intend to remove the brickwork in one piece! Nearly 50 years ago I had a specialist contractor stitch diamond drill a new hatchway through a 450mm (2 and a half feet) concrete shield wall whilst a reactor was on load at Dungerness! That wasn’t easy because the last thing anyone needs is water in a radioactive contaminated area! I gave this some thought and assumed something similar would be attempted. That is stitch diamond drill through the wall, but fill the voids with a sand and weak cement mix, to ensure the wall doesn’t collapse as work proceeds. Start with fixing a steel plate to the rear of the wall though, it would need to be a high precision job by experts in this type of work. Any chance the contractor could let us know how they intend to cut the wall away?

    • It will certainly be interesting to see of the wall can be removed intact (and remain intact). If it cracks or falls apart it will be totally useless as a pile of bricks.

      Although . . . hang on a minute . . . has the ”pile of bricks” not been done before ?

      I also hope the people’s home does not fall down and that it is properly repaired.

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