Edwin Simons woke up on Valentine’s Day to an original Banksy on the side of his rented home.
He and many others in Bristol, Banksy’s home town, were elated with the discovery. After all, an original Banksy has been known to fetch a high price at auction.
His daughter, Kelly, even started making plans to protect the work from the incoming Storm Dennis, which has been wreaking havoc across the UK.
They didn’t anticipate having to protect the work from locals, though.
Less than 48 hours after the mural was discovered, it was vandalised.
The Huffington Post with the details:
Overnight Friday, someone removed a protective covering and defaced with spray paint the artist’s stencil of a young girl firing a slingshot at a bunch of flowers, reported BBC Radio Bristol.
They scrawled the words “BCC Wankers” alongside a heart.
That’s ‘British Chambers of Commerce Wankers’, to you, sir!
A local resident, Dan Voke, was very upset when he discovered the vandalism.
“Banksy is quite a prolific artist and, for someone to be this mindless, it seems a bit silly,” he continued. “People were saying how it was going to be good for the area, bringing people in, and people are still going to come look at it, but it is upsetting.”
Banksy’s work has been targeted often, probably due to his fame. His commentary on homelessness in Birmingham, central England, was also defaced shortly after it was unveiled.
Within hours of #Banksy confirming his incredible piece of art, it’s unfortunately already been defaced. Luckily a member of the #JQ community is on hand to help restore his work! #banksyinbrum pic.twitter.com/cxyaHwqnns
— Jewellery Quarter BID (@JQBID) December 9, 2019
His famous ‘Well Hung Lover’ is also often shot at with paintball guns.
If you’re wondering why people might be a little upset by Banksy, consider that the penalty for graffiti in the UK, under the Damage Act of 1971, is a fine of up to £5 000 or a 10-year prison sentence.
So, when other street artists paint a mural, they’re criminals, but when Banksy does it, it’s fine – celebrated, even.
It’s a bit of a double standard, and I can see why his fellow street artists might no longer consider him one of their own.
The Chambers of Commerce reference says it all.
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