The street art – which was first noticed by people Thursday night – purportedly shows a child clutching a sign of the Extinction Rebellion emblem while planting a small flower with the words “From this Moment Despair Ends and Tactics Begin.”
It comes on the day that Extinction Rebellion backed up their protests which snarled traffic in the British capital for nearly two weeks.
A woman takes a picture of a new piece of street art that people noticed for the first time last night and is believed to be by street artist Banksy on a wall where Extinction Rebellion climate protesters had set up a camp in Marble Arch, London, Friday, April 26, 2019. (AP)
A Bansky collector and expert told The Guardian he believes the mural on Marble Arch is an authentic piece by the Bristol street artist.
John Brandler, who owns a dozen pieces by Banksy, said he believes it’s an original because of its execution and theme.
“I’m convinced about the one in London for two reasons: it’s a topic that he would support, and it’s a continuation of the Port Talbot piece that appeared in December 2018,” he said. “The name in the corner is not important, the signature is the work. And this is a Banksy. It’s a wonderful statement and beautiful piece.”
A spokesperson for Westminster council told The Guardian that they are investigating the authenticity of the art piece. Banksy has not confirmed the authenticity.
Extinction Rebellion – self-described “rebels” – have recently made headlines for snarling traffic and public transit in London through a series of blockades. They ended their 10-day outlandish demonstrations on Thursday but not before several members glued themselves to the London Stock Exchange building.
Calvin Benson, 48, a supporter of the climate change activist group, told Sky News that the artwork “represents the will of the people that were here and the people of the nation.”
Bansky, who has never disclosed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has since become one of the world’s best-known artists.
His mischievous and often satirical images include two policemen kissing, armed riot police with yellow smiley faces and a chimpanzee with a sign bearing the words, “Laugh now, but one day I’ll be in charge.”
His artwork titled “Girl With Balloon” – one of his best-known works – was sold on auction for $1.4 million last October just before it self-destructed.
Videos from inside the Sotheby’s in London show the painting partially running through a shredder embedded in the frame and emerging from the bottom as strips.
A video on Banksy’s website after the incident appeared to imply that the painting’s partial shredding was supposed to have been complete.
“In rehearsals, it worked every time…” the video notes at the end.