Banksy Margate artwork dismantled - hours after its reveal

Street artist Banksy has claimed a new artwork which appears to highlight the issue of domestic violence - but hours later, part of it was dismantled.

The painting, which has appeared on the side of a building in the seaside town of Margate, Kent, shows a 1950s housewife, wearing a classic blue pinny apron and yellow washing-up gloves.

She has a swollen eye and a missing tooth and appears to have shoved her male partner into a chest freezer.

Artist Pete Brown was painting the scene when the genuine freezer, which formed an integral part of the mural, was removed on Tuesday morning.

He said: "A council truck turned up and they took away the freezer," adding that the vehicle had the hazard warning lights and a metal cage typical of those used to clear fly-tipping.

Mr Brown, who was visiting Margate, said he had come to the resort to paint the sea, but after coming across the mural, had spent his time painting a scene of a wall instead.

The artwork is titled 'Valentine's day mascara' on Banksy's website.

It also features rubbish on the ground in front of the painting, including a broken white garden chair, a blue crate and an empty beer bottle.

Speculation about the post has suggested the Bristol-born artist is referencing violence against women on Valentine's Day.

A local media report said the freezer was removed on health and safety grounds.

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Thanet District Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Banksy's work can sell for millions of pounds on the art market.

In December, the anonymous graffiti artist announced he had created 50 screen-prints which would be sold to raise funds for a charity supporting the people of Ukraine.

Banksy previously confirmed he had spent time in Ukraine after posting a video of an artist spray-painting designs in the war-torn country and speaking to locals.

One of his biggest projects was Dismaland, a dystopian theme park in Weston-super-Mare back in 2015.