Government officials have known about the existence of the graffiti for some time now. However, it was only until recently when the public started paying attention to it after a resident informed them that the artwork was a creation by Banksy.
It is still unclear when the graffiti, which was found on a door near the Hinode monorail station in central Tokyo, was first created, according to BBC.
After the discovery, government official Koji Sugiyama told AFP that the door has now been removed and placed in storage to prevent any damage. Despite the precautionary measures, officials are still trying to verify if the artwork is indeed by Banksy, and they are apparently finding it difficult to check its authenticity, admitting that they don’t “know if there’s an expert in Japan.”
Regardless, Koike, in her tweet, called the artwork Banksy’s gift to the city.