Banksy’s climate protest mural preserved by London council

By Elspeth Keep and Edd Dracott, PA

A mural created by Banksy in the wake of climate protests in London has been cleaned and preserved by the local council after it fell into disrepair.

The famed graffiti artist painted the image in Marble Arch following demonstrations by Extinction Rebellion in April this year.

The image, which has been cleaned and placed in a permanent polycarbonate case, depicts a young girl holding an Extinction Rebellion logo, next to the words: “From this moment despair ends and tactics begin.”

Westminster City Council commissioned the protection after consulting with art conservationists.

“Bansky’s work generates so much excitement and attention, sadly some of that attention isn’t positive – so we needed to take steps to protect and preserve it for the future,” said councillor Iain Bott.

Chris Bull, director of Fine Art Restoration Company, said some of the challenges faced in restoring the artwork included removing a “heavy layer of milkshake” which had turned “mouldy and green”.

“That was covering quite a lot of the artwork, so it was a bit of a process but it was very nice to remove that and rewarding to reveal the artwork underneath,” he told the PA news agency.

“It was in pretty poor condition but it’s looking great now.”

The image depicts a young girl holding an Extinction Rebellion logo(Yui Mok/PA)

Bird droppings, algae and “a lot of obscure different things people had poured down the back of the acrylic” were also cleaned from the artwork, which Mr Bull said has been generating great interest from the public.

“It’s very historically and culturally relevant right now,” he said.

“There’s a lot of interest from the general public and lots of people seem to be coming from all over the world to view it.”

Westminster City Council had previously promised to leave the artwork on display so it could act as a daily reminder of the risks of climate change.