By Liane Castle
Items including a broken chair and a frying pan are believed to have been stolen from a new Banksy artwork before it could be preserved.
Titled “Valentine’s Day Mascara,” the new piece, on the side of a house in Margate, Kent, shows a woman in a retro dress, complete with kitchen apron and Marigolds, with a bruised eye and missing teeth.
Sticking out from a fridge freezer are a pair of legs, suggesting the man has been dumped there by his wife.
There was also a glass bottle, a broken chair and a frying pan on the ground, completing the scene.
The artwork, which appeared on Monday, was later confirmed to be a genuine Banksy – prompting art lovers to flock to the town to view it.
However, it is believed thieves pilfered three of the items forming the artwork before London-based Red Eight Gallery could arrive to preserve it.
Julian Usher, chief executive of the gallery, said: “There were other items forming part of this art installation.
“We believe a frying pan with red paint on it, then a bottle and a chair.
“We have had contact from an unknown person offering the frying pan for sale, and we will consider securing that.
“Regarding the chair and bottle, it is unlikely and probably on balance, deemed unnecessary.
“We had security on site by 10 a.m. having had the call just after 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning from the owner and by then they had gone.
“We have the freezer secured and in storage.
“It is a shame that a local was quick to remove an item, but it won’t affect what the owner wishes to achieve.”
The mural, which is on the side of a house, is set to be cut away from the building by structural engineers, so it can eventually be moved to a permanent home.
Usher previously confirmed the homeowner has instructed the gallery to handle the safe removal of the work described as “doable” but “complicated” as it requires cutting a 2×3 mete section out of the wall.
The landlord has asked for domestic abuse charities to benefit from any money raised in the process.
Until a new home is found, the artwork has been covered by Perspex.
The freezer was taken away by Thanet District Council on Tuesday but was later returned, only to be removed again by art handlers contracted by Red Eight Gallery.
It is now in storage ahead of being put on display when the accompanying street art is removed.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker.
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