NEW graffiti appears on wall hiding Banksy artwork

Has Banksy returned to scene of the crime? NEW graffiti appears on wall showing man using crowbar to pry open cover hiding existing artwork… but mysterious tag ‘Pouchy’ leaves some in doubt it was really him

  • A mysterious new artwork has appeared on a wall next to one of Banksy’s original designs in Bristol
  • The original artwork, depicting a girl firing a slingshot of flowers, appeared on Valentine’s Day in 2020
  • It was subsequently vandalised, which prompted the house’s owners to cover over part of the ruined artwork 
  • A brand new tag depicting a masked man attempting to pry away the covering with a crowbar has appeared
  • But the presence of a small one-word tag – ‘Pouchy’ – has fuelled speculation it may not be Banksy’s work 

A mysterious new artwork has appeared on a wall next to one of Banksy’s original designs, sparking intrigue over whether the notorious street artist has returned to finish the job.

The original artwork, depicting a girl firing a slingshot of flowers, appeared on Valentine’s Day in 2020 in the anonymous tagmaster’s home town of Bristol.

It was subsequently vandalised, which prompted the owners of the house on which the graffiti was stencilled to cover over one part of the ruined artwork while encasing the other in a transparent box to prevent further damage.

Now, a brand new tag depicting a masked man attempting to pry away the covering with a crowbar has fuelled speculation that Banksy himself may have reappeared to graffiti the same location almost two years on.

But the masked character is accompanied by a one-word tag – ‘Pouchy’ – the meaning of which is as yet unknown and raises concerns that the new graffiti may not be an original Banksy.

The artist himself has not yet claimed the piece.  

A stencilled figure of a man with a crowbar has appeared on an original Banksy. The artwork shows the man attempting to remove the wooden display which covers a Banksy artwork of a small child catapulting roses into the air (Bristol, 16 January 2022)

The crowbar-wielding character is depicted attempted to prise away the wooden covering which hides the original Banksy, which had been vandalised

However, a one-word tag – ‘Pouchy’ – has been scrawled next to the design and raises questions over whether the new artwork was created by the anonymous tagmaster himself

The original artwork was revealed on Valentine’s Day 2020 in the Barton Hill area of Bristol, Banksy’s home town. It was confirmed as a Banksy piece when a picture of it was posted on the artist’s official Instagram post on Valentine’s Day morning

The family that owns the house in the Barton Hill area of Bristol which the original Banksy adorns decided to cover up the artwork when it was defaced to prevent further damage in February 2020.

Temporary fencing was also added to the home in Bristol along with CCTV, while the explosion of flowers was encased in a clear, protective box.

The elusive artist confirmed the mural as his creation on his official Instagram account on February 14, 2020, but it was defaced just days later with pink spray paint which read ‘BCC w***ers’.

Kelly Woodruff, the daughter of Edwin Simons, who owns the rented home on which the artwork appeared, said the family felt a ‘strong responsibility’ to ensure that the artwork could be enjoyed by the general public.

‘Due to the mindless vandalism to the artwork, the family have taken the very difficult decision to cover and try to protect it so everyone can enjoy Banksy’s work.’

Banksy himself released a statement in which he said he was ‘kind of glad’ the artwork was vandalised as he released a series of ‘better’ sketches of it. 

The new art, which has been stencilled on the very same house on Marsh Lane in Barton Hill, shows a masked man with a crowbar attempting to pry away the wooden covering put in place by the Simons and Woodruff.  

A stencilled figure of a man with a crowbar has appeared on an original Banksy. The artwork shows the man attempting to remove the wooden display which covers a Banksy artwork of a small child catapulting roses into the air

The Banksy piece was vandalised with pink paint (Ben Birchall/PA)

The figure is prying away the wooden covering which was installed in February 2020, shortly after the original artwork was vandalised

People take photos of a mural by Bansky which was vandalised, on the side of a house on Marsh Lane in Bristol, Feb 2020

The newest piece has yet to be ‘claimed’ by the notorious street artist, who typically confirms authorship of his artwork via his social media. 

However, the new mural, which appears to match the style of the anonymous street artist, is accompanied by a one-word tag – ‘Pouchy’ – putting doubt into the minds of Banksy’s fans over whether the design is genuine.

If the piece was indeed created by the infamous Bristolian himself, fans can expect the artist to confirm it on social media in the coming days.

Welsh Banksy fan tried to destroy £500,000 artwork to stop it being bought by a rich English collector 

A Banksy fan attempted to destroy a £500,000 piece of artwork by the secretive street artist to stop it being bought by a collector in England.

Michael Thomas, 42, tried to smash his way into the temporary building housing the famous artwork in Port Talbort, south Wales, in order to spray it with white paint.

The artwork, which shows a child playing in the falling ash and smoke from a fire in a skip, first appeared on two walls of a garage in the Taibach area in 2018.

However a year later it was sold to John Brandler, who owns Brandler Galleries in Essex, for a ‘six-figure sum’ and moved to a new location in Ty’r Orsaf, where people could view it through the glass.

Mr Brandler agreed the mural could be kept in Port Talbot for a minimum of two years before it was moved. 

It is understood that the artwork was set to be moved to England or even the US but Thomas said he was angry that the public work of art had been sold and would be moved from the area.  

The Banksy artwork shows a child playing in the falling ash and first appeared on two walls of a garage in the Taibach area in 2018

Thomas was given a 14-month prison sentence suspended for two years after admitting attempted burglary and criminal damage. 

Prosecutor Sian Cotter said: ‘Witnesses heard him saying: ”It’s the only thing in Port Talbot and they are taking it away.”

‘Thomas intended to destroy the painting so that no one else could have it.

‘A couple and their five-year-old child heard the defendant shouting: ”It’s for us. They’re taking it away, some rich man has it.”

‘Another witness heard Thomas shouting: ”I’m going to kill it.”

The court heard Thomas had attempted to break into the building housing the artwork when neighbours hearing him breaking a window at 5.30am and called the police.    

Swansea Crown Court heard the painting of a boy enjoying falling snow next to a sledge was valued at half-a-million pounds.

Port Talbot Council placed the artwork in a temporary building after it appeared on the side of a garage in 2018. 

Ms Cotter said: ‘Thomas called police to say he’d committed the damage in anger because he didn’t want the painting to leave Port Talbot.

‘He said the work was being moved to England and that made him angry so he decided to destroy it.’

Thomas tried to break a window to the building housing the famous when neighbours called the police. Pictured: Some of the damage caused to the front of the building

The artwork was sold to John Brandler, who owns Brandler Galleries in Essex, for a ‘six-figure sum’ in 2019

Jonathan Tarrant, defending, said it was more of a protest than an act of criminal intent and it was unlikely Thomas would reoffend.   

Judge Geraint Walters told Thomas: ‘There was an intention to move the Banksy artwork out of Port Talbot to the London area and that angered you.

‘It may well be that it was not Banksy’s intention that the painting should ever leave Port Talbot.

‘I am aware the decision to remove the work has caused consternation in some quarters.’

The judge said Thomas reacted bizarrely by breaking into the building with the intention of destroying the Banksy artwork.

He added: ‘This work does now belong to an individual who has had to pay for it.

‘The commercial reality is that it is a work of art of great value and now it’s in private ownership.’ 

Thomas, of Port Talbot, was ordered to pay £1,058 compensation and was given an electronic tag for 12 weeks.  

In 2018, steelworker Ian Lewis, 55, said it was like ‘Christmas had come early’ after the work appeared on the side of his garage. 

New owner Mr Brandler said he already owned several Banksy pieces, and suggested putting ‘five or six’ more of the artist’s works on public display in the Welsh town to help tourism. 

The art dealer said he had given a ‘written guarantee’ the artwork would stay in Port Talbot ‘for a minimum of two to three years’, and added: ‘If it works, it can stay longer. If it doesn’t work then I’ll move it to a different industrial city.’   

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