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New coronavirus-themed Banksy appears on London Underground

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By Emma Beswick
A rat coughing green liquid was included in Bansky's latest work on the London Underground.
A rat coughing green liquid was included in Bansky's latest work on the London Underground.   -   Copyright  Screenshot Instagram/Banksy

Banksy has once again used the London Tube as his canvas, this time creating an artwork that centres around the coronavirus pandemic.

A video appeared on the revered artist's Instagram account that shows a person, assumed to be him, dressed in the same uniform as the cleaners who have been drafted in to disinfect the underground during the COVID-19 crisis.

The individual ushers away passengers as he spray-paints rats in various guises relating to the pandemic on the walls of the carriages using a stencil.

The work is called "If you don't mask - you don't get" — wearing a face covering is obligatory on transport in London.

Transport for London (TfL), which runs the Tube, later said the artwork was removed “due to our strict anti-graffiti policy”, but it welcomed Banksy recreating his message “in a suitable location”.

“We appreciate the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings, which the vast majority of customers on our transport network are doing,” said a spokesperson for TfL.

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. . If you don’t mask - you don’t get.

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

The rats used in the new artwork are similar to those featured in a painting that Banksy shared in April when lockdown measures were in full force in the UK with the caption: "My wife hates it when I work from home."

In his previous works, the artist has painted rats and monkeys on the Underground's train carriages.

Banksy left his signature in the train with a message for Londoners: "I get locked down, but I get up again," which references Chumbawamba's hit song Tubthumping from 1997.