A The work represents three war drones, painted on a stop sign at the intersection of Southampton Way and Commercial Way, in the Peckham area of the British capital, and was published shortly before noon on Friday (same time in Lisbon) on Banksy’s official Instagram account, the means by which the artist usually authenticates his creations.
At around 12:30 p.m., the sign was dismantled and taken by a man who ran away, according to videos filmed by witnesses and released by British media outlets.
London police initially said they had not received any complaints about the matter.
A video published by The Guardian shows two acting together, with one facilitating access to the plate and the other running away with it, after having dismantled it.
However, Southwark Council, which is responsible for signage in the area, said on Friday night that it wanted the sign back and had reported the incident to police.
On Saturday night, police announced that a man had been arrested and remained in custody.
“This incident is currently being investigated,” added a London police spokesperson, without giving further details.
The spokesperson invited “anyone who may have information about the incident or the location of the sign” to contact police.
Last year, three men in their 30s were arrested in France for the theft and manipulation of a Banksy painting honoring the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.
Six months later, in another incident, eight people were arrested in connection with the theft of a mural painted by the street artist, on a wall on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine.
Banksy issues certificates of authenticity for works of art that are not considered stolen or improperly placed in private hands, through the artist’s Pest Control team, which handles authentication.
This work by Banksy, painted on the stop sign, received close to half a million reactions in just five hours since its publication.
The Guardian newspaper assured “that Banksy is not behind the removal”, and added that it was difficult to sell “a stolen Banksy”, due to the prominence achieved by the artist, whose identity is unknown.
Read Also: Call for boycott of Israeli products during march in London
All News. By the Minute.
Seventh consecutive year Consumer Choice for Online Press.
Download our free App.