It's Friday, December 22, 2023, and a work of art affixed to a street sign in South London has been stolen by a man with pliers and an accomplice.

The work of street art was recently claimed by Banksy himself on his Instagram account.

Art Shortlist
by Art Shortlist - December 23, 2023

A stop sign illustrated by Banksy stolen in the London city center

Composed of three aircraft that appear to be combat drones and made on a stop sign, this creation was shared on Friday December 22 on enigmatic artist Banksy's Instagram account, the means by which he usually authenticates his works.

An hour later, at around 12:30 pm, the sign was dismantled with pliers and taken away by a man who ran off with the work under his arm, as shown by videos of the scene taken by witnesses and subsequently relayed by the British media.

Even more astonishingly, the thief didn't even bother to hide his face, so one wonders whether this wasn't just a communication stunt. If this is not the case, then the thief is an unconscious man, as it is hard to see how he could obtain anything from this stolen work...

Also read: The 10 most beautiful quotes by Banksy

Video of the theft

General astonishment in London streets

A 26-year-old witness told British news agency PA that passers-by at the scene were stunned by what was unfolding before their eyes. "We asked: what are you doing? But nobody really knew how to react," said the witness. Moreover, London police said they had not received any reports of this.

In the past, several of Banksy's creations have fallen victim to theft, including a door at the Bataclan in Paris, which paid tribute to the victims of the November 13 attacks.

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