UK

£6m Banksy mural lifted by crane into new London exhibition

Valentine’s Day Mascara by Banksy (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Valentine’s Day Mascara by Banksy (Gareth Fuller/PA) Valentine’s Day Mascara by Banksy (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A £6 million work by the artist Banksy has been lifted by crane into a new exhibition in London.

The mural, titled Valentine’s Day Mascara, weighs 3.8 tonnes and first appeared on the side of a house in Margate on Valentine’s Day.

It was later moved to the seaside town’s Dreamland amusement park for public display.

The artwork depicts a 1950s housewife with a swollen eye and missing tooth, wearing an apron and yellow washing-up gloves and throwing a man into a chest freezer.

It was announced in August that the work would be for sale to the public through 27,000 shares priced at £120 each, which were made available on marketplace Showpiece.

Banksy’s Mona Lisa
Banksy’s Mona Lisa The exhibition also features Banksy’s Mona Lisa (Banksy/Southeby’s/PA)

In the early hours of Tuesday, the artwork was placed in the foyer of The Art of Banksy exhibition in Regent Street, central London, where the public can see it for free.

Art of Banksy curator Michel Boersma said: “We’ve been secretly planning this operation for months but it was still an extremely tense moment having such an important and valuable artwork dangling from a crane above Regent Street.

“We are of course delighted to have it in the exhibition and are offering the public the chance to see it for free as it was created, as a street piece.

“It’s a work that casts a light on domestic abuse and as such we are working with several domestic violence support charities and raising funds through donations.”

The Art of Banksy exhibition is donating a share of its merchandise sales to several independent charities focusing on refugee support, Ukrainian relief and female empowerment causes.

The exhibition will feature more than 150 works, including Banksy’s Mona Lisa, a signed but previously unknown work which was originally bought directly from the artist by a Hollywood A-list actor in 2003.

Another addition to the collection is the original Flower Thrower, created by Banksy as a Valentine’s Day gift for his then-girlfriend, six years before the artist officially made Love is in the Air.

The Art of Banksy exhibition is not curated or authorised by the artist.

Tickets for the full exhibition start from £17.50 with doors opening on Wednesday.