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Bansky artwork in Lowestoft sparks debate after rat in a deckchair graffiti defaced




Residents from in and around Lowestoft have had their say after artwork by elusive artist Banksy was defaced just days after they appeared in the town.

Debate has been hot online since graffiti by Banksy on the seafront was painted over, and East Suffolk Council urged people not to try and restore it themselves.

The town artworks had already been attracting visitors to the seaside resort, and the district council announced it would move to further protect them after it revealed its security patrols had interrupted the vandals at work.

A Banksy original in Lowestoft has been vandalised, with East Suffolk Council urging people to not try and fix it themselves.
A Banksy original in Lowestoft has been vandalised, with East Suffolk Council urging people to not try and fix it themselves.

A mixture of opinions has emerged online about the future of the works; some want the artwork preserved and protected, others felt the nature of street art meant it would at some point become defaced, and some questioned its artistic merit.

Social media user Haleana Knights said: "Whether you like it or not, Banksy's work is world famous and draws crowds of admirers from around the world. Celebrating this instead of criminalising and removing it may raise the profile and give a much needed boost to the local area.

She urged it to be protected, as it would become a potentially lucrative tourist attraction in the town, and added: "Kids will vandalise, or not vandalise, regardless of whether Banksy has done so before them.

A Banksy piece has been spotted on London Road North and Regent Road at the former Lowestoft Electrical premises. Picture: Rose Sapey
A Banksy piece has been spotted on London Road North and Regent Road at the former Lowestoft Electrical premises. Picture: Rose Sapey

And Sheri Mattimoe said: "East Suffolk is so lucky world famous artists Bansky chose to create his art there. If people aren't fans of his ironic and thought provoking art just don't go and see it, but please don't spoil it for others."

Dean Garham said: "Rather than denigrating the work embrace the impact it will have on the area. The people visiting alone will be a real boost to the economy."

But Gavin Morris said: "If it's street art, it's supposed to be ephemeral and democratic. Something you remember rather than treasure. The council sending out patrols to protect graffiti because they know the name is as absurd as the hype."

A man in orange overalls removes part of the piece of street art in Lowestoft. Picture: PA Media
A man in orange overalls removes part of the piece of street art in Lowestoft. Picture: PA Media

Douglas Crabtree said: "How is it that one piece of graffiti 'vandalism' is protected and patrolled by security because its done by one person that happens to be famous, whilst other people from the same subculture can spend up to five years in prison for the same thing.

"The disgrace here is that councils in Britain obsess over these stencils because it brings money into the area. Who made the council's and courts art critics?"

And Allen Literland said: "So if anyone gets a rattle can and paints on walls their 'art' is protected, or is it just the famous that get this community protection?"

Karen Lawrence and Caroline Davidson with the piece of art which was found in the exhibition and believed to be by Banksy. Picture: Mark Bullimore.
Karen Lawrence and Caroline Davidson with the piece of art which was found in the exhibition and believed to be by Banksy. Picture: Mark Bullimore.

Speculation was rife about whether or not Banksy, one of the worlds most successful but elusive artists, was behind the art until he confirmed his 'Spraycation' online.

And on Saturday an exhibition at a village church took an unexpected turn after an art piece was mysteriously left on an altar, with some suspecting it could be an original Banksy.

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