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New Banksy mural has already been defaced – National

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A mural by elusive street artist Banksy that appeared overnight in north London on Monday has already been defaced. On Wednesday morning, residents awoke and found that white paint had been splashed across the massive art piece. The piece stood intact for only two days.

The mural is on a wall along Hornsey Road in Islington behind a barren tree, stripped of its leaves with its branches aggressively pruned down. A mass of green paint drips down the wall behind the tree, appearing to give the plant back its foliage. In the bottom left of the mural stands a stencilled image of a woman holding a spraying device, dripping in green paint, as if admiring her handiwork.


A new Banksy painting on a wall in London, Monday, March 18, 2024.


AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Now, photos taken of the mural on Wednesday show two large splashes of white paint cutting across the mass of green.

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A close-up of the white paint that appeared on a Banksy mural in Islington on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.


Ben Stansall / AFP via Getty Images

The Islington Council said it was “sad to see the piece has been defaced” in a statement posted on social media.

“When the mural first arrived in Islington, we moved quickly to put in place temporary measures to protect it and manage the crowds, such as installing fencing and having visits from Park Patrol officers,” it added.

“We are discussing future solutions with the homeowner, to enable everyone to enjoy the artwork while protecting it, the tree, and the surrounding area. We’re also in the process of installing a CCTV camera.”

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The mural attracted large crowds when it first emerged overnight and was spotted Monday morning. Banksy confirmed the mural was his work with a set of photos on Instagram. (Banksy typically claims credit for his work on social media or his website.)

Patrick Volcker, who flew in from Germany to see the artwork, said it was a shame to see the mural defaced so soon, but acknowledged that Banksy’s pieces have a fleeting quality to them.


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“I was too late because it was ruined last night. It’s sad it happened so fast, but it’s OK because Banksy’s art pieces are always in a temporary style,” he said via The Guardian. “It’s not really ruined. Let’s just say ‘covered.’”

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Gil Ben-ari travelled from south London, in Coulsdon, to see the piece and described its defacement as “wanton vandalism.”

Don Campbell, a retired local art teacher, told the BBC he thought the white paint “kind of adds to it and distracts from it as well, at the same time.”

“It’s part of the history of just what can happen in a few days or so,” he said.

It seems that Banksy’s pieces can’t catch much of a break recently.

In December 2023, artwork by Banksy showing three grey drones across a “STOP” traffic sign in south London was removed by an unidentified man in broad daylight as passersby looked on. Police later made arrests.


Click to play video: 'London police arrest man after Banksy stop sign art stolen'


London police arrest man after Banksy stop sign art stolen


When the Banksy mural first appeared in Islington, local residents spoke about how proud they were that the artist had chosen their neighbourhood as a site for his art.

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Wanja Sellers, a Hornsey Road resident, told the PA Media news agency that everyone in the neighbourhood was “so proud and delighted.”

“The bright green colours represent Islington, which is lovely, and also, of course, St. Patrick’s Day, which is nice and festive,” she added. The Islington Council uses green in its official branding and St. Patrick’s Day falls on March 17, the day before the mural popped up.

“Choosing the colours of our borough just makes it feel like a personal message to us residents. We just feel so proud.”


Click to play video: 'Banksy’s latest mural in London has ‘very strong’ environmental implications, expert says'


Banksy’s latest mural in London has ‘very strong’ environmental implications, expert says


Before the artist confirmed it was his piece of work, local politician Flora Williamson said it would be “incredible” to have a Banksy artwork “right in the middle of social housing and one of the poorest parts of the borough.”

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“I think it adds intrigue and culture and brings the area to life,” she said.

As for the meaning behind the artwork, podcaster James Peak, who produced The Banksy Story, told the BBC that, to him, the message behind the mural is clear.

“Nature’s struggling and it is up to us to help it grow back.”

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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