A new Banksy piece appeared in a small British town, which the artist authenticated via his website. Alas, by that time, the piece had already been buffed off the wall after complaints that it was “racist and offensive,” even though it was obviously a satire, critical of racism and xenophobia.

The piece featured a bunch of pigeons holding signs protesting a green swallow. The signs read: “Migrants not welcome,” “Go back to Africa,” “Keep off our worms.” The satirical piece comes a week before a district council by-election in Clacton-On-Sea, a town where the challenger holds strong anti-immigration views. Nigel Brown of Tendring Council told Essex Country Standard:

The site was inspected by staff who agreed it could be seen as offensive and it was removed on Wednesday morning in line with our policy to remove this type of material within the space of 48 hours. We would obviously welcome an appropriate Banksy original on any of our seafronts and would be delighted if he returned in the future.

As usual with Banksy, people are more concerned that it was worth a lot of money than the ethics of destroying artwork. A local pub owner said:

I bought some original Bansky works for £100 five years ago and I’ve just sold them to a gallery in London for £9,500 each. I don’t mean to criticize the council, but it wasn’t a very smart thing to do.

Another piece appeared earlier in Folkestone, Kent. First, it was just a buffed spot. Then, at became a stencil of an old woman looking at an empty plinth. (Photos: Banksy)