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Banksy donates new artwork to U.K. hospital showing nurse as superhero

Banksy’s latest artwork honours healthcare professionals amid COVID-19 pandemic
The street artist known as Banksy has struck again, this time with a mural of a child playing with a superhero doll: a front-line worker.

For the second time during the COVID-19 pandemic, Banksy has unveiled a pertinent new art piece.

Instead of “working from home” as he did in last month’s chaotic instalment — in which graffiti rats run amok in his bathroom — the anonymous, U.K.-based street artist brought his work to Southampton General Hospital on England’s south coast.

The monochromatic painting, which a hospital official referred to as Painting for Saints, seems to come as a tribute to the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) as well as front-line health-care workers fighting the novel coronavirus around the world.

It was unveiled by the hospital on Tuesday morning and can be found in the lobby near its emergency department.

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Painting for Saints depicts a young boy in overalls playing with a new toy while his old ones have been discarded in a trash can in the background.

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Rather than play with his Spider-Man or Batman toys, the child opts to play with a female nurse doll — which dons both a cape and mask — suggesting that medical workers are the real superheroes instead.

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Along with the painting, Banksy left a note for the staff at the NHS Trust’s largest location.

“Thanks for all you’re doing,” he wrote. “I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white,” as reported by the BBC.

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According to the outlet, the painting will stay in the hospital until later this fall, when it will be auctioned off to raise proceeds for the NHS Foundation.

“So proud to reveal this amazing piece of art, Painting for Saints,tweeted hospital chief executive Paula Head on Tuesday.

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“(It was) created by Banksy as a thank you to all those who work with and for the NHS and our hospital,” she added.

Updates and additional information regarding Banksy and his artwork can be found through the artist’s official website.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca