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Mystery over new Banksy-style mural which appeared in Birmingham overnight

A new mural bearing a striking resemblance to the work of Banksy that appeared in Birmingham overnight remains at the centre of a mystery.

The renowned street artist’s spokesperson has confirmed it is not the work of Banksy, but no one else has yet come forward to claim it.

The painting appeared on Kent Street, in the West Midland city’s gay village overnight on 3 April. It appears to depict Dorothy from the 1930s film The Wizard of Oz, an adaptation of L Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The fictional character can be seen reaching for a pair of ruby high-heels hanging from a cable that crosses over the street.

A mural depicting Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz, on the side of Sidewalk bar on Kent Street in Birmingham (PA Wire)
A mural depicting Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz, on the side of Sidewalk bar on Kent Street in Birmingham (PA Wire)

An art historian based in Birmingham said the mural displayed “all the hallmarks” of mysterious artist Banksy, whose identity remains unknown.

“Banksy doesn’t just stick to 2D art, he plays with objects in real life,” Ruth Millington told Birmingham Live.

“We can see the artwork interacting with the shoes on the telephone wire which is very clever. It’s also interesting to note that Banksy has used Dorothy in his art before, he likes putting her in interesting places.”

The fictional character can be seen reaching for a pair of shoes hanging from an overhead cable (Jacob King/PA Wire)
The fictional character can be seen reaching for a pair of shoes hanging from an overhead cable (Jacob King/PA Wire)

But a spokesperson for Banksy later confirmed that the work was not his, saying; “This isn’t by the artist Banksy.”

Banksy’s work has previously appeared in Birmingham. In 2019 the artist and activist produced a powerful piece of graffiti highlighting homelessness in the city at Christmas.

Banksy painted reindeer on a wall pulling a bench on which a homeless man was sleeping, in an apparent reference to the festive legend of Santa’s sleigh being powered by the caribou species.

In a video posted to Banksy’s Instagram page, a homeless man named Ryan could be seen having a drink before settling down on a bench with his belongings.

Dorothy reaching for the shoes in the artwork (Jacob King/PA Wire)
Dorothy reaching for the shoes in the artwork (Jacob King/PA Wire)

As the camera pans outwards, the reindeer can be seen appearing to carry him away into the star-filled sky.

“God bless Birmingham,” Banksy wrote in the post.

Banksy is one of the world’s most famous street artists, with his work appearing in cities across the globe but his identity officially remains unknown.

It comes after it was confirmed that a tree mural in north London, which appeared on 17 March, was his.

The artwork, on the side of a building on Hornsey Road in Finsbury Park, features shades of green painted behind a cut-back tree with a stencil of a person holding a pressure hose to the side.

Banksy usually claims responsibility for art by posting on his social media pages.

A new Banksy mural recently appeared in north London (AP)
A new Banksy mural recently appeared in north London (AP)

He uploaded an image of the tree to his Instagram profile, showing the scene before the green paint was applied to the wall.

The mural was later fenced off by authorities after vandals threw paint over it.