Banksy ‘London Doesn’t Work’ Rat. Location Chiswell Street.
In the early 2000’s Banksy’s rats could be found all over London. Over time most have been lost but there are a few that have survived the graffiti cleaning squads, remove for profit chancers, paint overs and the ravages of time. One such example is this ‘placard’ rat in Chiswell Street in the City of London.
Freshly painted, the rat had a hand written slogan on its placard saying ‘London doesn’t work’. It was placed at ground level on a corner of a building and well over 15 years later is still there to this day. This is maybe in part due to the updated text on the sign which now reads ‘I love London, Robbo’. The back story to this is Banksy’s long running feud with legendary London graffiti writer Robbo. Before Robbo’s untimely death, and as part of a tit for tat going over of each others work, Robbo replaced Banksy’s wording on the placard so that it became his slogan instead. Since his passing no graffiti writer would consider going over his words and its accompanying rat and so it has stayed in near perfect condition ever since.