An infamous street artist in England who goes by Banksy recently painted a mural satirizing Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” on the side of a Bristol building. But within the first 24 hours of Banksy painting the stunning graffiti, somebody has already vandalized it.
According to the New York Daily News, the Banksy mural was titled “Girl With a Pierced Eardrum” and has a burglar alarm strategically placed where the pearl earring should be. There’s also a joke-reference to the burger van parked opposite of the Banksy mural, with a caption that reads “Gallery cafe open Monday to Sunday 8am to 2pm.” Banksy’s newest work mysteriously appeared on a building by the Bristol docks on Monday.
According to the BBC, by Tuesday, the Banksy artwork had already been defaced, with black paint splashed over it. Banksy has had several of his murals vandalized lately, including a work titled “Mild Mild West,” featuring a teddy bear throwing dynamite at a police team. This painting by Banksy was splashed with strips of red paint.
Another Banksy piece called “Hanging Man” on Park Street was damaged with blue paint. Both of those Banksy works have since been successfully restored. Banksy also painted an image of a police sniper about to be startled by a boy with a paper bag that has since been totally lost by vandals blacking it out with daubs of paint.
Banksy’s work is so famous that property owners occasionally fight for ownership of the murals. Banksy’s last work titled “Mobile Lovers” was painted in a doorway on Clement Street in April. The Bristol City Council tried to claim the Banksy original as their own but Banksy wrote to the Broad Plain Boys Club informing them the mural was theirs. The club sold the painting to a private collector for £403,000.
Due to the frequent vandalism of Banksy’s work, some have called for the murals to be protected with a clear plastic covering.
There is some speculation about whether or not the notorious artist named Banksy actually painted “Girl With a Pierced Eardrum.” An article was published by the National Report claiming a man named Paul Homer (supposedly Banksy) was arrested for vandalism and for having thousands of dollars of counterfeit cash. But that news report was proved to be a hoax by The Independent and Banksy remains mysterious and anonymous.
Banksy posted images of his newest work to his website before it was defaced.
For more on street artists like Banksy, check out this report on the artist known as “Sabo.”