HULL, UK – A stencil design of a child holding a wooden sword appears to be the latest Banksy mural.
Seen on the Scott street bridge in Hull, UK, the artwork includes the words “DRAW THE RAISED BRIDGE.”
A pencil is attached to the sword, which is thought to be reference to Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s words, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” This well-known phrase suggests that written language (or even the power of the free press) is a more effective tool than violence.
The phrase was coined by Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play “Richelieu: Or the Conspiracy.” The play was about Cardinal Richelieu, whose full line read:
True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself is nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!
Banksy may also be referencing the “Open Bridges Hull” project that took place during the Freedom Festival in 2017. This history-making project close all 13 of Hull’s bridges, splitting the city in two.
For an entire minute, no one could move between East and West Hull, sparking a debate about freedom. The debate included discussions about the impact of witholding freedom, the freedom of movement and the meaning of freedom in today’s world. These discussions were then carried over into workshops at prisons, schools, hospices and community venues.
Once the city was reunited, they celebrated with the world premiere of John Stead’s musical piece, “Moments in Time.”
Spectators have also speculated that Banksy’s latest piece is a commentary on Brexit. This mural follows one he painted last year depicting a worker removing a star from the European Union flag. Brexit is term given to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.