Banksy Valentine’s Day Mascara artwork to be relocated to Margate’s Dreamland

An artwork by Banksy which has been dismantled numerous times since it appeared in Margate this week will be relocated to the town’s Dreamland theme park.

The mural, titled Valentine’s Day Mascara, appeared to have a theme of domestic abuse and fighting violence against women as it depicted a 1950s housewife wearing a blue pinny and yellow washing-up gloves with a swollen eye and a missing tooth seemingly shoving her male partner into a chest freezer.

The real-life freezer incorporated within the piece was removed twice in the days after it was discovered in Margate, Kent on Tuesday.

New Banksy artworks
People wearing high-vis workwear in Margate removing a chest freezer which formed part of new artwork by street artist Banksy (@danbamhiggins/PA)

Margate’s amusement park Dreamland will now home the piece so it remains “accessible to all those who want to come and enjoy it”.

A statement shared by Dreamland Margate on Twitter said: “We’re thrilled to have been asked to host Margate’s Banksy, enabling the artwork to remain in the town and accessible to all those who want to come and enjoy it for the foreseeable future.

“When everything has been finalised we’ll let you all know.”

Reflecting on the impact of the artwork, the chief executive of Dreamland Margate, Eddie Kemsley, said: “The arrival of Banksy’s latest artwork in Margate has caused a real stir.

“Everyone in the town is really excited that he has chosen Margate as the location for his latest work, and the fact that he is highlighting such an important issue only makes it more important.

“Imagine our surprise when here at Dreamland we got a call asking if we would be able to host the artwork. We jumped at the chance to help ensure that the piece could remain accessible and within the community.”

Ms Kemsley added they will be working with a team of qualified experts to find a suitable location at Dreamland for the artwork but that she feels the amusement park is in a “perfect position” as the venue is free to enter and so during opening hours “the artwork will be accessible to anyone that wants to come and enjoy it”.

On Tuesday, the artwork had its chest freezer, broken garden chair, blue crate and empty beer bottle taken away by a local council “on the grounds of safety”.

All the pieces were subsequently returned by Thanet District Council, who said on Wednesday it was in contact with the property owner to discuss ways to preserve the piece.

However, on Thursday, The Red Eight Gallery in London removed the freezer for a second time and said it was now in storage with permission from the homeowner, before a permanent home can be found for the entire work.

The chief executive of the gallery, Julian Usher, previously told the PA news agency that the homeowner stipulated that they wished for a local charity supporting prevention of domestic abuse against women to benefit, along with the piece being used to raise awareness in Margate and nationally.

The chief executive of Dreamland Margate also said they were “100% behind” the owner’s aim for the piece to raise money for the local charity Oasis, which supports those that have been affected by domestic abuse.

She added: “We will assist the owner of the artwork and Red Eight Gallery on the logistics of how, when and where the piece will be moved and when everything has been finalised, further details will be announced.”

The elusive street artist confirmed they were behind the artwork by sharing a series of photos of the piece on their Instagram account on Tuesday.

Following the artwork originally being dismantled, North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, whose constituency includes Margate, told PA: “I think it’s an extremely impressive and extremely clever piece of art.

“And I hope and believe that it can and it should be preserved and displayed safely so that as many people as possible can see it.”