By Rochelle Hughes
‘Reckless toe rags’ who stole the side of a BUS STOP in a bid to get their hands on a piece of Banksy artwork were left red-faced when the painting turned out to be fake.
The window of the bus stop in Fforestfach, Wales, was removed overnight on Tuesday [February 19] after the graffiti appeared on Monday – with rumours quickly spreading that it could belong to the elusive artist.
The painting shows a placard-wearing monkey topped with the head of Theresa May and Boris Johnson’s hair, with the writing on the placard reading ‘laugh now, but one day I’ll be in charge”.
John Brandler of Brandler Galleries, who recently purchased the Banksy Port Talbot Steel Works for a six figure sum, said the theft, despite it not being a Banksy, was the work of ‘reckless toe rags’.
John said: “The moment someone shares that they have seen something like a Banksy on social media, some inconsiderate person thinks that it might be worth money.
“What these reckless toe rags don’t think about is the cost to the community which is huge.
“The bus company, or the council now have to send men to deal with the mess that has been made.”
John said the perpetrators are fighting a losing battle as the piece will not be bought as it does not have any certificates of authenticity and is stolen property.
He said: “I hope someone has reported this to the police because even though it was not a Banksy painting it is criminal damage to public property.
“It’s because of things like this that Banksy does not authenticate a lot of his work.”
Paul O’Connor, 50, spotted the painting on Monday night at a bus stop on Swansea Road but was uncertain of whether it was the real McCoy.
He said: “While done in the familiar style of the infamous street artist, debate was raging in the local pubs about its authenticity.”