A local council has removed a mural by British artist Banksy following a complaint it was racist. The depiction on a wall in the seaside town of Clacton in south-east England showed a group of pigeons holding signs stating “migrants not welcome” and “go back to Africa” directed at a small green bird.
Tendring District Council said it received a complaint that the artwork was “racist” and “offensive” and had removed it, unaware that it was thought to be by Banksy. The controversy emerged a week before voters in the area decide whether to elect Britain’s first MP from a party opposing mass immigration ::::
Known for his ironic social commentary through graffiti and stencilled paintings in public and private spaces, Banksy emerged in Bristol in the early 1990s.
The real name of the artist, whose street art has previously sold for more than $1 million, remains unknown.
Nigel Brown, a spokesman for Tendring District Council, said another piece of Bansky’s art would be welcome in the area but not a repeat of the same artwork.
“Not the same thing, because even if we knew it was Bansky, if that could be seen by some people as being inappropriate, offensive or racist, we would still want to remove that,” he said.
The election next week in Clacton is a key test for prime minister David Cameron as it comes after the local MP defected from his ruling Conservative Party to the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Mr Cameron has seen support for UKIP, which wants Britain to leave the European Union, soar.
It has finished second in a string of local polls in recent months but has so far failed to gain representation in parliament.
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