‘Selfish’ vandals deface new Banksy graffiti in seaside town – 24 hours after elusive artist revealed he created it
- Elusive artist left a painting of a rat sitting on a deckchair in Lowestoft, Suffolk
- Artwork was covered in white paint but council are ‘hopeful’ it can be restored
- Locals voiced anger at vandalism because it was hoped art would bring tourism
A local council has said it is ‘appalled’ that a new Banksy artwork that had brought excitement to a seaside town has been defaced.
The elusive artist famed for his street art recently paid a visit to Lowestoft, Suffolk, leaving behind a painting of a rat sitting on a deckchair.
But less than 48 hours after it was confirmed to be the work of the famous artist, residents woke on Sunday to the news that the new attraction had been covered with white paint.
A local council has said it is ‘appalled’ that a new Banksy artwork that had brought excitement to a seaside town has been defaced
Locals have voiced their anger after the artwork, which had been hoped would attract tourists, had been defaced.
White paint appeared to have been applied to the wall using a roller, but the council are ‘hopeful’ the work can be restored.
There are a total of four Banksy pieces in Lowestoft and further artwork on the Norfolk coast in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Cromer.
The Lowestoft mural appeared earlier this month, before the artist revealed he was responsible.
Among the works is a rat sitting on a deck chair enjoying what appears to be a martini underneath an umbrella
In a statement, East Suffolk Council said: ‘We are naturally appalled that someone has chosen to behave in such a selfish and mindless way given how excited we all are by the appearance of these works here on the east coast.
‘We are, however, hopeful that this particular work can be restored, and are engaging with specialists.’
The council said that prior to the rat art being confirmed as a genuine Banksy it had placed an order for protective materials to safeguard the piece.
It added: ‘In the interim, we have also employed security patrols to visit each site and on this occasion, our patrols actually interrupted the individual defacing this work and prevented any further damage occurring.
Banksy uploaded the video to his Instagram account on Friday, confirming he was behind eight new works (Pictured: Grabbing machine situated above a bench)
‘We are very grateful for the huge goodwill of local people who are proud of these artworks, but we would kindly ask people not to try and repair the works themselves and to please leave this to professional restorers.’
Earlier this week, the elusive artist, believed to be from Bristol, confirmed he was behind a string of new street art pieces which appeared in Suffolk and Norfolk over the past week.
He can be seen working on eight new pieces in a video entitled A Great British Spraycation, which he uploaded to his Instagram account on Friday.
One image shows a seagull on the side of a building stealing ‘chips’ from a skip in Lowestoft
‘Mindless vandalism’: One woman’s verdict of this Banksy piece, showing a child with a crowbar, spray-painted on a wall behind a sandcastle
The three-minute clip shows the anonymous artist driving around in a camper van while donning a hoodie as he works on the new pieces.
This was inspired by the summer of so-called ‘staycations’, which has seen Brits opt to holiday at home owing to strict Covid restrictions on foreign travel.
In the video, shared with his 10.9 million Instagram followers, residents can be seen reacting to the pieces, seemingly unaware that they were created by the iconic artist.
Upon seeing one image of a child holding what appears to be a crowbar next to a sandcastle, a woman says: ‘That looks like mindless vandalism, doesn’t it?’
Among the new works are a grabbing machine situated above a bench in Gorleston and one of a seagull on the side of a building stealing ‘chips’ from a skip in Lowestoft.
One piece on a beach in Cromer depicts a feisty gang of hermit crabs
This piece in Nicholas Everitt Park shows three children standing in a boat which appears to have been fashioned out of a piece of scrap metal
One piece in Cromer shows a gang of feisty hermit crabs.
Another, in Nicholas Everitt Park, shows three children standing in a boat which appears to have been fashioned out of a piece of scrap metal.
It features one child looking ahead as though out to sea, another child behind looking over their shoulder, and a third child at the back of the boat appearing to be leaning over the side holding a bucket.
Writing above the artwork says: ‘We’re all in the same boat.’
The metal part of the artwork has since been removed, and pictures show a man in fluorescent overalls appearing to drag it way.
He also worked on a statue in King’s Lynn, putting an ice cream in its hand while making a tongue appear from its mouth.
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