Asia

Graffiti spotted in Tokyo could be Banksy artwork - maybe

This handout photograph taken on January 16, 2019 and released by Tokyo Metropolitan Government on January 17 shows a drawing of a rat holding an umbrella Image copyright AFP
Image caption Could this be the work of Banksy?

A piece of graffiti found at a monorail station in Tokyo, Japan, could be the work of British artist Banksy, say local officials.

The drawing bears resemblance to a famous Banksy painting "Umbrella rat", which similarly pictures a rat parachuting with an umbrella.

It is not clear when the work was painted but officials said they had known about it for a long time.

They only realised it could be a Banksy after being contacted by residents.

The drawing is sprayed on a door near the Hinode monorail station in central Tokyo.

In a tweet, the capital's Governor Yuriko Koike called the artwork a possible "gift to Tokyo".

The door has now been removed and placed in storage to prevent any damage to it, government official Koji Sugiyama told AFP.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Can you spot the 'Banksy' work?

However, Mr Sugiyama said the government was still trying to verify the artwork, but that they "[didn't] know if there's an expert in Japan".

Banksy is an anonymous British graffiti artist who produces pieces of work in public places - which are often sold for high amounts.

A Banksy artwork, which appeared in a garage in Wales was recently sold privately for a "six-figure sum".

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