Suspected Banksy artwork appears on the side of London building

A new tree mural that appeared on the side of a London could be the work of famous street artist Banksy.

The artwork, which features a mass of green paint behind a mature tree to resemble foliage and a stencil of a person with a pressure hose, was spotted near Finsbury Park.

James Peak, creator of the BBC Radio 4 series ‘The Banksy Story’, rushed to see the piece after receiving a tip-off. “To my mind it looks like a dead cert,” he told the broadcaster.

However, he added that with Banksy, you can never be sure until he confirms it by posting it on his website. The secretive artist usually verifies his work by sharing images on his website and social media, but this hasn’t happened yet for the Finsbury tree.

Despite this, Mr Peak believes the artwork, which appeared on Sunday in Hornsey Road in north London, bears the signs of a Banksy piece. “The message is clear,” he said.

“Nature’s struggling and it is up to us to help it grow back.”

He also suggested that the mural would likely have been created using a pressure hose or fire extinguisher to quickly spray the “leaves” onto the wall behind the tree. The paint colour matches that used by Islington Council for local signs, which Mr Peak says shows Banksy’s attention to detail.

“It’s spring now, and this tree should be bursting forth with leaves, but Banksy must have cycled past and thought how miserable it looks,” he said.

“So, on St Patrick’s Day, he has taken exactly the same shade of green Islington Council use for their street signs and used a pressure hose or a fire extinguisher to spray the leaves back in, onto the rather dilapidated wall behind.”

While he was viewing the art, Mr Peak met Islington councillor Flora Williamson while she was out canvassing.

She later tweeted: “By far the most exciting thing to happen on today’s canvass session on Hornsey Road was seeing that Banksy had come to Tollington over night.

“Lots of local interest – I’m a fan of it.”

Mr Peak also added there was often a “Banksy effect” which had been seen in places like Port Talbot and Norfolk when artworks had appeared there, with people rushing to take pictures of the murals.

Locals have taken to social media following the artwork’s appearance. One said: “Banksy came overnight and now my rent will skyrocket.”

While another said: “Proud new caretakers of an apparent new Banksy piece in Finsbury Park… Woke up this morning to it on the side of the flat.”

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