The new Valentine’s Day mural by famed street artist Banksy has been vandalised, just 48 hours after it showed up on a Bristol house wall.
Edwin and Dawn Simons, who own the house where the artwork was painted, had already installed temporary fencing and CCTV cameras to protect it.
But to no avail. Mr Simons told the Bristol Post the vandalism was an “absolute shame”.
“It is there for everyone to enjoy and it has now been spoilt,” he said. “One individual is spoiling it for everybody.”
The mural was claimed by Banksy after it appeared on Thursday, and featuring his signature stencil design. It depicting a young girl shooting a slingshot, with real ivy painted bright red.
Mr Simons’ daughter, Kelly Woodruff, said the family were committed to protecting the mural so that it could be enjoyed by the public.
“Due to the mindless vandalism to the artwork, the family have taken the very difficult decision to cover the artwork to protect it,”
“All measures are temporary and we ask that the public are patient while we work out the best way to clean the damage, restore and protect it for the future, so everyone can enjoy Banksy’s work.”
Only a few days earlier, Ms Woodruff had said she was “over the moon” about the sudden appearance.
“When we realised it was one of our properties, we were so happy as we have always loved Banksy’s art,” she said.
This is not the first time Banksy’s work has been destroyed. In 2018, Banksy’s infamous Girl With Balloon artwork sold at auction for $1.86 million, only to suddenly shred itself in front of shocked onlookers.
The artist later admitted on Instagram that he had arranged the prank himself.
“A few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting in case it was ever put up for auction.”
Back in 2015, construction workers in Melbourne’s ACDC lane smashed through a wall containing the ‘parachuting rat’ artwork while installing pipes for a new cafe. The piece had been there since the artist visited Australia in 2003.