News World Banksy covers London Tube with images of rats and face masks
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Banksy covers London Tube with images of rats and face masks

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Elusive street artist Banksy has disguised himself as a cleaner to graffiti pictures of masked rats and hand sanitiser on the inside of a London Underground carriage.

Dressed in a high-vis jacket, boiler suit, goggles and face mask, Banksy fooled passersby into thinking he was there to do some cleaning work.

Little did they know the sprayer he was holding was not being used to disinfect the train but rather, paint a plethora of powerful, poignant messages about the spread of the coronavirus.

It came a day after British prime minister Boris Johnson announced shoppers in England will have no choice but to wear face masks as of July 24.

Hoping to remind people to wear face masks, Banksy spray-painted a black rat coughing and sneezing green paint across the train carriage’s window and walls.

Using spray paint and stencils, he covered the London Tube with images of rats using face masks as parachutes or shooting antibacterial hand gel.

Fans have labelled his work “powerful” and “crucial”.

Banksy was not stopped by any authority.

At one point, he can be seen ushering away commuters. He titled his piece “If you don’t mask – you don’t get”.

While he has received overwhelming praise for his work, some people could not understand how he managed to go unnoticed and finish his artwork without being questioned by a single authority.

It seemed he was able to graffiti a wall on a platform without anyone noticing.

Banksy released photographs of his work. Photo: Banksy website

Banksy ends his video with the words “I get locked down, but I get up again”.

Since mid-June, anyone using London’s public transport systems has had to wear a face mask but not everyone has been following the rules.

Banksy spray-painted pictures of rats using face masks as parachutes.

What Banksy has done constituted an offence, British Transport Police said.

“Banksy’s strength of feeling towards the importance of wearing face coverings on public transport mirrors our own, which is why we have hundreds of officers out across the capital every day encouraging passengers to wear their face coverings,” a spokesperson said.

“Regardless, please remember that it is an offence to deface any Tube or train carriage, or other station property.”