Banksy has claimed a painting next to a 500-year-old abandoned farmhouse in Kent – but demolition trucks have already toppled the building.
The world-renowned artist took to his Instagram this morning to share photos of his masterpiece – Morning is Broken – near Herne Bay.
The work was in a bricked-up window of one of the former Blacksole Farm properties, and featured the silhouette of a boy opening a curtain with a cat sitting next to him.
But construction vehicles moved to the Broomfield site – which is set for 67 homes – and began removing the building yesterday.
Builders working on the project say they had no idea it was a real Banksy and that they “felt sick” when they learned it was one of his pieces.
One of the contractors, George Caudwell, told KentOnline: “We didn’t know it was a Banksy.
“I felt sick upon learning that it was a Banksy – we were disappointed.
“We started demolishing it yesterday.
“The landlord saw us doing it and didn’t even know it.”
The teams say that the metal curtains featured in the piece are now left on site with the rest of the piece.
It is understood that the first part of the building was demolished.
Kitewood was given the green light to level the old farmhouse – which dates back to 1529 – late last year.
The housing scheme is the latest part of the developer’s vision for the area, as it has also lodged a drive-thru proposal with McDonald’s, B&M’s and Food Warehouse at nearby Altira Park.
The site has been owned by a house-building firm for many years, but it has fallen into a state of disrepair, being regularly targeted by vandals and unruly youths.
“I was mortified to learn it was a Banksy – we were so disappointed…”
This is the fourth Banksy piece made in Kent – the latest of which is a woman in 50s dress painted on the side of a house in Margate, called Valentine’s Day Mascara.
It is not yet known whether the piece has been preserved by the demolition teams.
Kitewood has been contacted for comment.