The elusive Banksy strikes again, this time in an industrial town in Wales known for its major TATA steel plant. The work depicts a child wrapped in winter clothes, sledding at his feet, opening his arms and pulling his tongue out to try to catch the snowflakes that seem to fall from the sky.

On the other side of the wall, a burning trash releases thick black smoke and a shower of ashes, revealing the origin of the "snowflakes" falling on the child.

Ian Lewis, the owner of the garage, said he saw the artwork for the first time on Facebook. Lewis is employed by TATA Steel, an Indian multinational specialized in steel production with international plants. The air pollution in Port Talbot is a sensitive topic that has been repeatedly reported in the press, and as Lewis has suggested, this is probably why Banksy chose the small village.

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. . . . Season’s greetings . . .

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on Dec 19, 2018 at 6:53am PST

The artist has confirmed to be the author of the work on his Instagram: a video, with the soundtrack of the childish song "Little Snowflake" shows the graffiti starting with the child, reveals the smoky trash, and ends on a map of the TATA Steel factory overlooking the city. A simple "Season's Greeting" accompanies the post.

Upon confirmation of authorship, city council members contacted Ian Lewis to set up a protective device around the garage, leaving the graffiti visible to the curious crowds. With such excitement around his property, Lewis said he has not slept for two days, adding that it was "an incredible work. It's a good thing for the city and I just want to protect it; it's there for everyone. "

(Image: Jonathan Myers) (Image: Jonathan Myers)

The poor air quality has long been a point of contest in Port Talbot. Many have complained of residues and dust released by surrounding factories, which endanger the health of residents, and dirty their homes. It is said that the artist's intervention is in fact a response to a message sent to him in August by an Instagram user, who complained about the conditions in which the locals lived. "Can you do something in Port Talbot, the steel works is making lots of dust every day and residents are sick of it. TATA own the works and don't care, seagulls with gas masks come to mind...lol" the Instagram message reads.

Gary Owen, the author of the message and resident of Port Talbot for 54 years, said he was shocked when he discovered the work, and thinks that his Instagram message was taken into account by the artist. "I think it's amazing for the people of Port Talbot, that someone as famous as Bansky does such a thing."

Image ©Robert Melen Image ©Robert Melen

The local press also reported that a drunken individual allegedly attempted to attack the work, cutting down the security barriers around the garage, before being chased out by the authorities. Following the attack, council members placed a protective glass in front of the wall, so that the work was placed under constant surveillance, while the town hall made every effort to manage the flow of visitors as peacefully as possible.

The master of street art hit again, and TATA Steel has not spoken yet.

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