Art Destruction: Contractors Accidentally Demolish a Recent Banksy Mural

The work, entitled ‘Morning Has Broken,’ was painted on the side of an old farmhouse in Kent, which local contractors were tasked to destroy.

Almost as soon as it was created, anonymous artist Banksy’s newest mural was demolished. The work depicted a person opening window curtains with a cat seated by the sill, and was painted on the side of a dilapidated farmhouse in Herne Bay, Kent

What’s more, it seemed like the popular artist was covertly watching it happen; builders say they saw a man wearing black and taking pictures of the demolition. Just a little later, Banksy posted photos of the wreckage alongside a picture of the mural prior to its destruction. 

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Morning Has Broken by Banksy prior to demolition
Morning Has Broken prior to demolition/Photo via Instagram @banksy
Morning Has Broken by Banksy after the demolition
A picture of the demolished house, with a witty caption from Banksy himself stating: “Morning is broken”/Photo via Instagram @banksy

A Gut-Wrenching Accident

Neither the contractors assigned with demolishing the house nor the landlord (who was also at the scene) had any idea that the mural was done by Banksy. Upon discovering this, one of the contractors, George Caudwell, told KentOnline: “It made me feel sick realizing it was a Banksy—we were gutted.” 

Indeed, it seems like the art world has experienced its fair share of accidents this year, as a 42-thousand dollar “balloon dog” sculpture from Jeff Koons was recently shattered by a guest attending an art fair in Miami. While such news can be devastating to some, Banksy appeared to be unperturbed by the destruction of his work. After all, the daring street artist made headlines in 2018 for purposely shredding one of his auction pieces right after it was sold. 

Making a Statement

Banksy is best known for creating political pieces that highlight societal issues, and pairing them with subversive stunts. The destruction of his Girl with Balloon at Sotheby’s London sparked controversy as people debated whether the shocking act was done to make a statement or simply increase the value of the piece, which Banksy renamed Love is in the Bin. Even after having been shredded, it sold for 25.4 million U.S. dollars—an almost 17-fold jump from the original price it fetched at Sotheby’s (which was around 1.4 million U.S. dollars). Regardless of the true intentions behind Banksy’s stunts, one can say that they make for thought-provoking social experiments. 

Banner Photo via Instagram @banksy.

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