Banksy’s Short-Lived Coronavirus Message

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Part of Banksy's latest work on a London Underground train shows a rat sneezing without a mask, spraying mucus everywhere.


July 15, 2020

Banksy is at it again.

The artist sprayed and stenciled a London Underground train with rats that use a face mask as a parachute, hoard hand sanitizer, and sneeze, leaving a trail of blue mucus in their wake.

Banksy debuted his latest work in a video on Instagram captioned, “If you don’t mask – you don’t get.” The video shows Banksy, who is no stranger to masking his face, disguised as a sanitation worker, tagging the train.



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. . If you don’t mask – you don’t get.

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

But bad news for those riding the train in search of the work: Transport for London, the group that oversees the Underground, has already removed it. A spokesperson said the work violated the department’s “strict anti-graffiti policy.”

It’s not the first time Banksy’s work has been destroyed, nor the artist’s first statement on the pandemic. In April, Banksy posted a scene from his work-from-home life, with rats scampering around his bathroom.



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. . My wife hates it when I work from home.

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

A month later, Banksy unveiled “Game Changer,” an artwork featuring a child playing with a nurse doll wearing a mask and cape that the artist donated to University Hospital Southampton in the UK to honor health care workers.



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. . Game Changer

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London Transport has since offered Banksy a chance to create new work in a “suitable location”—but that’s just not his style, is it?