"We'd like to offer Banksy the chance to do a new version of his message for our customers in a suitable location," the Transport for London spokesperson says

By Joelle Goldstein
July 15, 2020 01:00 PM
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Banksy's artwork
Banksy/Instagram

Just as quickly as it was completed, Banksy's latest artwork has been removed from the walls of the London Underground.

On Tuesday, the famed artist posted a video to Instagram seemingly of himself spraying graffiti on the walls and doors of the London metro system, encouraging people to wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, shortly after posting the clip, the artwork was removed by the Transport for London (TFL), who cited their "strict anti-graffiti policy" as the reason for taking it down.

"We appreciate the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings, which the vast majority of customers on our transport network are doing. In this particular case, the work was removed some days ago due to our strict anti-graffiti policy," a TFL spokesperson tells PEOPLE in a statement.

Though the TFL did not approve of this particular setting for Banksy's artwork, they did not completely shut down the artist's desire for expression.

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

Banksy's artwork
Banksy/Instagram
Banksy's artwork
Banksy/Instagram

In Banksy's Instagram video, the elusive Brit dressed as a cleaner as he sprayed his artwork around the metro car, much to the dismay of the riders.

The artwork encouraged people to wear masks and featured a number of rats that were sneezing, using masks as their parachutes, being covered by masks and spraying disinfectant.

Inside the train's doors and in the metro station, Banksy wrote "I get lockdown, but I get up again" — a nod to Chumbawamba's 1997 hit song "Tubthumping," which began playing in the background as his video ended.

The artist captioned the post: "If you don’t mask - you don’t get."

Banksy's artwork
Banksy/Instagram
Banksy's artwork
Banksy/Instagram

This isn't the first time that Banksy has used his artwork to speak out about the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, the artist posted a series of photos on Instagram showing rats that he had painted on the walls and toilet seat cover in his bathroom.

"My wife hates it when I work from home," he captioned the series of shots, pointing out how he also was working remotely during the pandemic.

The following month, Banksy shared artwork he created in honor of healthcare workers, depicting a child playing with a nurse doll that had a mask and cape on, while a Batman and Spider-Man action figure sat in the trash.

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The touching artwork was titled "Game Changer," and garnered the attention of millions — many of whom praised the artist for his "meaningful" sketch.

As of Wednesday, there have been over 13.3 million cases and at least 578,896 deaths attributed to coronavirus worldwide, according to The New York Times. In the United Kingdom, at least 291,373 cases and 44,968 deaths have been reported, according to the Times.

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