Suspected Banksy on Marble Arch wall put in protective casing

Glass casing being installed around Banksy mural Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The protective casing was installed on Thursday afternoon

A suspected Banksy street mural created after Extinction Rebellion protests in London has been placed in protective casing.

The artwork appeared on a wall in Marble Arch following the climate activists' "closing ceremony" in April.

Westminster City Council said it had been advised by art experts the work was genuine, adding it "generates so much excitement".

Banksy has not confirmed whether he was behind the piece.

The council installed a permanent polycarbonate case on Thursday after consulting art conservationists.

Iain Bott, the authority's cabinet member for sports, culture and community, said: "Our priority has always been making sure this street art remains in public view for our visitors to enjoy."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The mural was cleaned by restoration workers before it was put in its protective casing

"We want Westminster to be an exciting, vibrant place to be and are fortunate to have so many famous statues, landmarks and artworks on our streets - this piece is a welcome addition," he added.

"Bansky's work generates so much excitement and attention, sadly some of that attention isn't positive - so we needed to take steps to protect and preserve it for the future."

Meanwhile, a painting by Banksy showing the House of Commons packed with chimpanzees is expected fetch more than £1.5m at an auction next month.

Devolved Parliament was painted by the anonymous Bristol artist in 2009 and goes on show on 28 September before its sale in London on 3 October.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The painting, called Devolved Parliament, is due to go on show later this month

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