Oops! UK council destroys Banksy immigration mural

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

15 PHOTOS
Banksy street art
See Gallery
Oops! UK council destroys Banksy immigration mural
In this released by banksy.co.uk on Thursday Oct. 2, 2014 shows a mural by graffiti artist Bansky in Clacton-on-Sea England taken earlier this week. The local authority in Clacton-on-Sea is mortified after telling its workers to remove a mural it later realized was created by the internationally famous graffiti artist Banksy. Banksy’s often satirical works have fetched up to $1.8 million at auction and his images have controversially been stripped from walls and sold for high prices. (AP Photo/banksy.co.uk) 
In this released by banksy.co.uk on Thursday Oct. 2, 2014 shows a mural by graffiti artist Bansky in Clacton-on-Sea England taken earlier this week. The local authority in Clacton-on-Sea is mortified after telling its workers to remove a mural it later realized was created by the internationally famous graffiti artist Banksy. Banksy’s often satirical works have fetched up to $1.8 million at auction and his images have controversially been stripped from walls and sold for high prices. (AP Photo/banksy.co.uk) 
In this released by banksy.co.uk on Thursday Oct. 2, 2014 shows a mural by graffiti artist Bansky in Clacton-on-Sea England taken earlier this week. The local authority in Clacton-on-Sea is mortified after telling its workers to remove a mural it later realized was created by the internationally famous graffiti artist Banksy. Banksy’s often satirical works have fetched up to $1.8 million at auction and his images have controversially been stripped from walls and sold for high prices. (AP Photo/banksy.co.uk) 
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Christina Florence looks on at a piece of art titled 'Kissing Coppers' by the artist Banksy before it went to auction along with his 'Crazy Horse Car Door' (L) piece at the Fine Art Auctions Miami Street Art Auction at LMNT on February 18, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Three pieces of art by Banksy along with about 50 other lots by other artists such as Kenny Scharf, Basquiat, Bambi, Speedy Graphito went on the auction block. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Banksy's latest art work in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City on October 18, 2013. The British street artist Banksy has been creating new street art for the month of October in New York. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
A street art stencil showing a soldier brandishing a machine gun above the slogan Vandals found vandalising this vandalism will be prosecuted' is seen on a wall in Los Angeles, California on August 21, 2013. The piece is by the artist Strömberg, although it has been mistaken in online forums to be by Banksy. Owners of the property have indicated they plan to remove the illegal artwork. The dyptich mural to the left called 'King of Pop' by artist Erik Burke was done with the permission of the property owner. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Doyle, street art director for Julien's Auctions, stands next to "Flower Girl," a delicate stencil on a massive brick wall by popular street artist Banksy, is displayed in a warehouse in the greater Los Angeles area Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The artist painted it on the side of a Los Angeles gas station in 2008. The building's owner carefully removed the wall section, which is 9 feet high, 8 feet wide and weighs nearly 5,000 pounds, framed it in sturdy aluminum and brought it to Julien's Auctions. Doyle says the piece could fetch more than $300,000 at auction on Thursday, because, "Celebrities are Banksy-crazy." (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A design by British graffiti artist Banksy is seen at right, off of Main Street at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 04: A freshly painted but anonymous political mural, in the style of the artist Banksy, depicting David Cameron grabbing Nick Clegg in a parody of the famous image of footballer Vinnie Jones on Fashion street near Brick Lane on May 04, 2011 in London, England. The East End of London is home to a thriving art community, with paintings, sculptures and other works covering walls, buildings and rooftops across the area. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)
BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK, PALESTINE - 2014/08/22: An Israeli soldier walks past a Banksy graffitti mural in Bethlehem. The Islamic Jihad faction organized protests in solidarity with Gaza, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. As ceasefire talks collapsed completely in Cairo earlier this week, and fighting renewed on Wednesday. Hamas launched a barrage of rockets towards Southern Israel, some reaching as far as Jerusalem and illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, some 80 kilometers away from Gaza. Late Tuesday evening an Israeli missile struck the home of Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, killing his wife and three-year-old daughter. Deif, according to Hamas reports was not assassinated. On Thursday, three more to military commanders, Muhammad Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Muhammad Barhoum were also killed in airstrikes. In response, Hamas killed what they believed to be collaborators with Israel in Gaza. 18 suspected of having worked with Israeli army intelligence have been killed so far. Late Friday afternoon, a four-year-old Israeli child from Nihal Oz was killed by mortar fire from Gaza. To date, the death toll from the Gaza war stands at 2090 Palestinians and 67 Israelis. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Banksy image of a silhouette of a boy kneeling and praying is on a wall outside a parking garage Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Park City, Utah. David William Noll, a California man pleaded guilty Monday to defacing two Utah murals believed to have been done by the mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy. Noll will pay $13,000 in restoration costs as part of a plea agreement. Noll told a judge Monday he was suffering from a bout with bipolar disorder when he drove to Park City and damaged the works on New Year's Eve. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A Banksy-stenciled an image of a videographer filming a flower is on a wall outside a coffee shop Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Park City, Utah. David William Noll, a California man, pleaded guilty Monday to defacing two Utah murals believed to have been done by the mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy. Noll will pay $13,000 in restoration costs as part of a plea agreement. Noll told a judge Monday he was suffering from a bout with bipolar disorder when he drove to Park City and damaged the works on New Year's Eve. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A Sotheby's employee speaks on the phone next to large print showing former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill by British artist Banksy during a press preview of an unauthorized retrospective exhibition showing some 70 works of art in London, Friday, June, 6, 2014. Banksy is most famous for his anarchic humorous graffiti works that appear on street architecture without notice around Britain., that then appear as paintings or prints. Recently disputes have arisen over ownership of his art that appear on walls or doors due the value of the work.. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Curator Steve Lazarides poses for a portrait next to at art work by British artist Banksy, during a press preview of an unauthorized retrospective exhibition showing some 70 works of art in London, Friday, June, 6, 2014. Banksy is most famous for his anarchic humorous graffiti works that appear on street architecture without notice around Britain., that then appear as paintings or prints. Recently disputes have arisen over ownership of his art that appear on walls or doors due the value of the work. Lazarides was Bansky's agent during his early years as an artist. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


LONDON (AP) - Authorities in southern England were embarrassed but defensive Thursday after telling workers to destroy a mural they later realized was created by the internationally famous graffiti artist Banksy.

Banksy's often satirical works have fetched up to $1.8 million at auction and his images have been controversially stripped from walls and sold for high prices.

The latest mural, which featured pigeons carrying anti-immigration banners, appeared at Clacton-on-Sea, the site of a special election next week featuring the anti-immigration U.K. Independence Party. Tendring Council spokesman Nigel Brown said Thursday that the mural was chemically removed from the wall after complaints that it was racist.

"There was a sharp intake of breath when we realized it was a Banksy," Brown said.

The mural, featured on Banksy's website, showed pigeons holding up signs directed at one exotic-looking bird. One banner reads "Go Back to Africa" while another says "Migrants not welcome."

The elusive artist has a knack for courting attention with an ingenious mix of timing and clever placement. He left an espionage-themed graffiti artwork in the hometown of Britain's electronic spy agency soon after some of its covert activities were revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Brown said the Clacton mural probably went up Monday or Tuesday - only days before the closely fought Oct. 9 by-election that was sparked when the local Conservative Party lawmaker switched his allegiance to UKIP. Brown said he didn't know about the mural until a reporter asked about its location after seeing the image on the artist's website.

Brown defended the council, saying it had a duty to act on concerns that the mural was inappropriate.

"We would love him to come back," he said. "We're not against Banksy or murals."

More from AOL
History fight coming to a head in suburban Denver
Vanessa Hudgens terrifies unsuspecting guests at Knott's Scary Farm
Firm says phone apps spy on Hong Kong protesters

English Town Unknowingly Destroys Valuable Banksy Piece

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners