A reindeer mural painted by Banksy has been vandalised - with red noses spray-painted on to the animals.
The artwork was created by the elusive artist in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter over the weekend, but was apparently defaced on Monday.
Bright red noses were spray-painted by a vandal on to the two reindeer, which were drawn to make it appear as if they were pulling a homeless person on a bench.
The painting was done to highlight the UK’s homelessness problem. A spokesman for Banksy confirmed the red noses had not been added by the artist.
As a result of the vandalism, the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District had to employ 24-hour security to protect the art.
They are now considering covering the mural in protective perspex glass.
Steve Lovell, marketing manager at the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District, said: "When we learned a Banksy had appeared, we were obviously delighted.
"It is truly an incredible and thought-provoking piece, which highlighted a genuine crisis in our city.
"But we were astounded to hear it had been defaced so soon after appearing, it was only a matter of hours.
"A young guy just jumped over the barriers and sprayed two noses on it, which is inaccurate to start with as only Rudolph has a red nose.
"We were shocked and disgusted and one of our executives tried to clean it off, but to no avail.
"She stayed there until quite late into the evening before he could get security to watch it overnight. They were still there this morning when I arrived for work.
"There is so much footfall past the painting so we want to protect it the best we can because we are honoured to have a Banksy here in the city."
To announce the artwork, Banksy posted a video on Instagram of a homeless man named Ryan lying on the bench and wrote: "God bless Birmingham.
"In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter - without him ever asking for anything."
Fans soon flocked to the site outside a train station to take photos and police were called in to control the crowds.