Second man arrested after Banksy artwork was taken from street within minutes of authenticity being confirmed

24 December 2023, 13:23 | Updated: 24 December 2023, 13:52

A second man has been arrested in connection with the sign's removal.
A second man has been arrested in connection with the sign's removal. Picture: PA

By Jenny Medlicott

Police have arrested a second man on suspicion of theft and criminal damage after a Banksy piece of artwork was removed in south-east London.

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The piece of street art - a traffic stop sign covered with three aircraft resembling military drones - was revealed at the intersection of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham at midday on Friday.

The man, in his 40s, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of theft and criminal damage in connection with the removal of a Banksy art installation in Peckham and remains in custody, the Met said.

It comes after another man in his 20s was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of theft and criminal damage. He has since been released on bail.

Two men were seen removing the sign from the junction of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham at around 12.30pm.

Southwark Council had previously called on a piece of Banksy artwork to be returned after it was removed from Peckham.

Read more: Man arrested after anti-war Banksy piece was ‘stolen from street’ hours after authenticity confirmed

Read more: Two teenagers, aged 15 and 18, killed and three injured in three-vehicle crash in Northumberland

The deputy Leader of Southwark Council, Jasmine Ali, said the work should be returned for everyone to enjoy "Banksy's brilliant work".

Ms Ali said: “Of course Banksy picked Peckham, it's already on the map when it comes to art and is a hotbed for creativity.

"It should not have been removed and we'd like it back so everyone in the community can enjoy Banksy's brilliant work.

"We have reported the removal of our sign to the police to help get it back."

The Met said in a statement: "We are aware of footage being shared which shows the sign being removed. Anyone who may have information about the incident or the whereabouts of the sign is asked to call police on 101 quoting ref 5742/22dec."

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