Plastic goes up to protect Banksy artwork from whitewasher
The picture of a young boy, with a colander for a helmet, in the familiar Bansky stencilled styleand the slogan “Draw The Raised Bridge” appeared on the Scott Street Bridge over the River Hull last week.
But the image was defaced over the weekend when it was covered in white paint - later cleaned off by window cleaner Jason Fanthorpe, first using water then white spirits.
He said: “Banksy, love him or hate him, has international prestige and he’d gifted the city with his art. I could not just sit back and not try to help.
“Being a window cleaner I had the equipment at hand, I knew we’d need ladders as I’d been to see it earlier in the week.”
Yesterday the image was harder to see behind the fogged up plastic - but it didn’t put off the crowds. Chris Kennedy, who has seen the Banksys on Regents Canal in London, and admires the work of an artist “who’s a bit of a Scarlet Pimpernel” wished he had come to see it earlier.
He said: “It’s fainter than it was. I can’t understand the mentality.
“It’s only there a day or two then someone paints over it. I don’t know what the motive was, but painting over it requires effort - it’s not like chucking a brick through a window.” Joan McCann, who was with her mum Jemma, said it was “sacrilege”: “It just looks terrible - of all the places it gets defaced it gets defaced in Hull.”
Another visitor David Wollaston said: “Because of the perspex it is all misted up and now you can’t see it as well. They had to do something, you can’t fault them, but it makes it look artificial.
“It’s interesting and quite clever. Is it referring to people trying to raise the drawbridge or is it ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’? Historically we raised the drawbridge against a King (the city shut the gates to Charles 1 in 1642)”
Hull Council said the reinforced plastic sheet was a temporary measure to “help to ensure that the public can continue to enjoy the work and prevent, where possible, further damage.”