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Suspected work by Banksy may go on display in Tokyo

TOKYO (TR) – A piece of graffiti, possibly the work of elusive artist Banksy, may go on display at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building around the upcoming extended holiday, the government announced on Wednesday.

In January, the government speculated that a sketch found in Minato was the work of Banksy, the anonymous artist whose stenciled street pieces are known for having a satirical tone. The drawing shows a rat holding an umbrella.

The piece is currently in storage. A request confirming its authenticity was sent by the government to Banksy. However, the artist did not respond, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said, according to NHK (Apr. 18).

In spite the lack of confirmation, the sketch may go on display due to the government’s receiving of a large number of requests from citizens to see it.

If it happens, the exhibit will extend for two weeks to coincide with the 10-day holiday period marking the beginning of the Reiwa Era that starts on April 27.

Banksy work in Japan?
Banksy work in Japan?

The illustration was discovered on a tide gate near Hinode Station along Tokyo Bay last December. “This could be a gift from him to Tokyo,” enthused Koike when the government announced the finding in January. She also described the rat as “cute.”

A government official told Kyodo News at the time that “graffiti is unacceptable. But if the picture is authentic, we need to preserve it.”