Banksy Explains Why He’s ‘Glad’ His New Mural Was Vandalized Just 48 Hours After Its Creation

Helen Murphy

Elusive street graffiti artist Banksy has no hard feelings about the vandalism of his latest mural.

On Feb. 13, the artist created a mural of a young girl on the side of a house in his hometown of Bristol, England.

The so-called “Valentine’s Day mural” showed the young girl playfully firing a slingshot of red flowers onto the building, but was defaced within 48 hours after it first appeared.

An offensive phrase was graffitied over the mural in pink spray paint, according to the BBC, despite the fact that a clear panel had been placed over the artwork to protect it.

The outlet reported that the panel had been torn down, and some of the red flowers that were part of the artwork had also been stolen.

Banksy responded to the vandalism with an Instagram post on Thursday.

“I’m kind of glad the piece in Barton Hill got vandalised,” he wrote, adding, “The initial sketch was a lot better…”

Finnbarr Webster/Getty
Finnbarr Webster/Getty

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Though it was unclear whether the street artist was joking, he included three photos of the original sketches for his design, which showed the girl holding a sheath of flowers behind her as she catapulted the petals onto the building.

Kelly Woodruff, whose father owns the property where the mural was painted, told the BBC that her family is “devastated” about the vandalism.

“It is so sad. They have taken the joy away from everyone,” she said.

Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty

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Woodruff told the outlet that temporary security measures, including fencing, are being built to protect the mural from further harm, and added to the Associated Press that she and her family are still working out the best way to clean the artwork.

“We are very keen to stress that these temporary measures, which could cause some short-term frustration, are there to protect and preserve the art for the future,” she told the BBC. “We want this to be available to everyone for years to come and for as many people as possible to come along to take a look and enjoy it.”