Suspect arrested in alleged theft of a Banksy stop sign decorated with military drones

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. custody / ˈkʌs tə di / (n.) – the state of being kept in prison, especially while waiting to go to court

    The police took three men into custody for fighting in the street.

  2. bemused / bɪˈmyuzd / (adj.) – not knowing what to do, confused

    The students were still bemused although the teacher already explained the difficult math problem.

  3. borough / ˈbɜr oʊ / (n.) – a village, town, or part of a large city that has its own government

    The borough has a community center where people can gather for events.

  4. thought-provoking / ˈθɔt prəˌvoʊ kɪŋ / (adj.) – causing people to think seriously and deeply about something

    The class had an interesting discussion because of the teacher’s thought-provoking questions.

  5. satirical / səˈtɪr ɪ kəl / (adj.) – criticizing people or ideas in a comic way to promote a political view or agenda

    The satirical TV show has a lot of viewers, but the government dislikes it.


Read the text below.

A man suspected of stealing an artwork by Banksy of a stop sign adorned with three military drones was arrested, London police said.

A man in his 20s was in custody on suspicion of theft and criminal damage, the Metropolitan police said.

The sign was taken less than an hour after the elusive street artist posted a photo of the work on his Instagram page. 

A video showed a man with bolt cutters climbing up on a bicycle to remove the work from a signpost on a street corner in the Peckham area of south London while another man steadied the bike. The man who cut the sign free then ran off with it in his hand.

A voice on the video of the incident could be heard saying, “It makes me so annoyed,” as the man ran away.

A witness who only wanted to be called Alex told the PA news agency that the small crowd of people who had shown up to view the work stood around watching in awe as the scene unfolded.

“We said, ‘What are you doing?’ But no one really knew what to do, we sort of just watched it happen,” Alex said. “We were all a bit bemused; there was some honking of car horns.” 

Jasmine Ali, deputy leader of the local borough council, called for the piece to be returned.

“It should not have been removed and we’d like it back so everyone in the community can enjoy Banksy’s brilliant work,” Ali said.

The stop sign was replaced.

Banksy’s thought-provoking and satirical art often takes aim at war. Many of his followers on Instagram interpreted the work as calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • In your country, is street art acceptable? Why or why not? What do you personally think of street art (ex. it’s essential, it ruins public spaces)? Discuss.
  • Banksy’s street art is thought-provoking and satirical. What do you think is the importance of thought-provoking art? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • A voice on the video of the incident could be heard saying, “It makes me so annoyed.” Why do you think the stop sign with Banksy’s artwork annoys the person? Do you think the theft of Banksy’s artwork is justifiable? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • A small crowd of people witnessed the theft. What do you think the crowd should have done? If you were there, what would you have done? Why? Discuss.