Builders 'felt sick' after demolishing 500-year-old farmhouse that had a new Banksy artwork on it
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A 500-year-old former farmhouse that had been covered in a new Banksy artwork has been demolished.
Builders ripped down the building that was located in the anonymous street in an English seaside town this week.
One workman at the site told KentOnline they were horrified after realising the artwork on the building, which was titled 'Morning Is Broken', belonged to the legendary artist..
“We had no idea it was a Banksy," they said. "It made me feel sick realising it was a Banksy - we were gutted.
"We started demolishing it yesterday. The landowner watched us do it and didn’t know either.”
The piece shows a silhouette of a child opening curtains with a cat perched next to him.
The building was pulled down to make way for more than 60 properties.
In the past, the artist’s pieces have sold up to £18 million (AUD $32 m).
One lucky fan managed to capture a glimpse of the work before it was knocked down.
"I went to have lunch and saw the Banksy post on Instagram," Adam Brooks told KentOnline.
"I recognised the building straight away and I was only a minute away so I jumped in my van and went down there.
"I spoke to the builders and they said they had seen someone in black on the hill this morning taking a photo of the building but did not think anything of it.
"Since this morning, their bosses have phoned and told them to try and dig out any of the Banksy piece from the skip."
People have since managed to find scraps of the artwork in the rubble.
The ‘Valentine’s Day Mascara’ piece showed a caricature of a 1950s housewife, bearing a swollen eye and a missing tooth, pushing her husband into a freezer.
But the piece, which used a real freezer as part of its installation, didn’t get approval from the Thanet district council, which deemed it a safety hazard.
As a result, the freezer was removed, and the council said it would be returned once ‘it had been made safe’, as per The Guardian.
Similarly, in 2020, Banksy's coronavirus-inspired art was removed from a London subway.
The piece, 'If you don't mask, you don't get', was painted inside a Circle Line service carriage.
However, before the artist unveiled the fresh ink of their Instagram, it had already been wiped off by Transport for London (TfL) cleaners.
A representative of the TfL told BBC News that staff were unaware it was created by Banksy and removed it due to vandalism.
“The job of the cleaners is to make sure the network is clean, especially given the current climate,” they added.