A Banksy mural on a wall at North Beach in Lowestoft on August 8, 2021. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
After recent events that have seen Banksy artworks disrupted or painted over, it makes sense that a city council body in Harwich, Essex has reportedly employed a security guard to watch over a freshly-created Banksy mural depicting a boy fishing for a blue face mask. The Tendring District Council, which promptly announced the appointment of the security guard, had previously been peppered with criticism in 2014 for painting over a Banksy mural after someone had complained it was racist. The 2014 mural depicted a group of pigeons wielding anti-immigration signs while confronting a more brightly-hued bird.
In contrast to Banksy’s 2014 mural, his 2021 image of a boy whose fishing excursion surfaces a blue mask seems likely to be less controversial. “We immediately put security in place and are taking further steps to protect this artwork as we await confirmation that it is indeed the latest piece of the artist’s ‘Spraycation’ in East Anglia,” a spokesman for the Tendring District Council said this week.
#Banksy #harwich #weareart #art #harwichfestival pic.twitter.com/f8IviNj2Mr
— Harwich Festival (@HarwichFestival) August 19, 2021
Since completing a summer excursion in which he painted new murals all over the English countryside, Banksy has already had some of his work defaced or painted over. In Lowestoft, a mural of a rat sipping a cocktail was painted over with white paint a mere 48 hours after it appeared in the small town, an act which deeply disappointed local members of the community. Banksy frequently depicts rats in his work.
Meanwhile, in Great Yarmouth, residents covered up Banksy’s recently-completed mural of children playing in an inflatable boat. However, this was no random act of vandalism: the city took pains to remove the artwork due to the fact that a local child died in an accident in 2018 after an inflatable trampoline she was playing on in Gorleston beach burst.