Early Banksy mural accidentally painted over by new owners
Artwork believed to be one of Banksy’s earliest murals has been accidentally painted over in the artist’s hometown.
The graffiti artwork had remained on the shutters of a small shop in Bristol’s Park Row since the 1990s, before its new tenants unwittingly ordered it to be removed.
A workman renovating the former pizza takeaway into a tea room only realised the significance of the graffiti when Banksy super-fan Simon Whiteaway passed on Tuesday.
Mr Whiteaway, 52, said: “I walked by and saw a painter going over the mural and said to him ‘what are you doing?’The Banksy mural on the shopfront shutters on Park Row (Ben Birchall/PA)
“I had to explain to him what it was and he was shocked.
“The shop was a skate shop for a long time – Rollermania – and Banksy knew its owner, Tony Coffey.
“In the 90s Tony gave him £20 or £30 to spray his shutters.”
The origins of the mural were confirmed by London-based artist Inkie, who began spray painting with artists including Banksy and Massive Attack founder 3D in Bristol during the 1980s.
He said: “It was first painted by 3D Massive Attack in the mid-eighties, then me and FLX painted it followed by Dicy And Feek TCF crew.
“Banksy then painted a rather ugly freestyle over this in his pre-stencils period.
“It didn’t go down well and probably better for him it’s being painted over.”