Banksy: New coronavirus-inspired artwork appears on Tube

image copyrightBanksy
image captionBanksy spray painted his tag in the colours of a medical face mask

Banksy has returned to the London Underground with a piece encouraging people to wear a face mask.

A video posted on his Instagram page shows a man, believed to be the enigmatic artist, disguised as a professional cleaner.

He can be seen ordering passengers away as he gets to work, stencilling rats around the inside of a carriage.

Transport for London (TfL) said the art was removed "some days ago" in line with its "strict anti-graffiti policy".

The work, called If You Don't Mask, You Don't Get, features a number of rats in pandemic-inspired poses and wearing face masks.

One rodent stencilled on the Circle Line train appears to be sneezing, while another is shown spraying anti-bacterial gel.

The artist's name is also daubed across the driver's door of a train.

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

At the end of the video, the words "I get lockdown" appear on the side of a station wall before a train's doors close to reveal the phrase "but I get up again", and Chumbawamba's 1997 song Tubthumping kicks in.

All users of public transport in London must wear a face mask.

The statement from TfL said it appreciated "the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings".

"We'd like to offer Banksy the chance to do a new version of his message for our customers in a suitable location," it added.

The BBC has asked if the travel authority worked with Banksy on this artwork and, if not, whether his actions posed a security risk.

Early on in his career Banksy, who is originally from Bristol, often spray-painted rats and monkeys on to Tube trains.

image copyrightBanksy
image captionA man purporting to be Banksy asks onlookers to move away

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.