Banksy has said he is “glad” that his latest artwork has been vandalised, and says his original sketches for the design were of a better quality.
The latest work from the anonymous street art icon appeared on the side of a building in Barton Hill, Bristol, earlier this month (February 13).
The mural shows a young girl firing a slingshot, which results in an explosion of flowers in the sky – resembling fireworks.
It was only there for 48 hours before it was defaced with graffiti reading “BCC WANKERS”. The message is thought to be a reference to Bristol City Council.
Banksy wrote on Instagram: ““I’m kind of glad the piece in Barton Hill got vandalised,” the artist wrote. “The initial sketch was a lot better…”
Alongside his post, Banksy featured a number of sketches which depicted earlier versions of the artwork.
Steve Lazarides, who worked with Banksy for years, said that giving him up would be “like telling a four-year-old Santa doesn’t exist”.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Lazarides says he will “never give [Banksy’s identity up],” adding: “It’d be like telling a four-year-old Santa doesn’t exist. If he did reveal himself, no one would believe him. They’d be like, ‘Course you are, mate, course you are.’”
He went on to discuss some of the “scams” the pair pulled to get away with their work, saying: “Once I gave him a letter saying he had permission from a film producer to paint a wall. And I would be the film producer, armed with a burner phone. If I got a call, I was primed to say, ‘Sorry mate, I meant him to do the other side of the street.’”