The newest Banksy artwork in Port Talbot – an image of a child enjoying falling snow that actually turns out to be ash, protesting pollution form a local steelworks – has been targeted by a “drunk halfwit”, who tried to pull down surrounding barriers and remove a protective plastic screen.
As reported by the BBC, the attacker was chased away before causing damage. “The security guard chased him off and police were called,” writes Gary Owen, the man who commissioned the work, on Facebook. “This art is for Port Talbot, Neath and surrounding areas. We do not want it wrecked.”
A local councillor, Anthony Taylor, says the mural – which is painted on a garage wall – has attracted thousands of viewers. Traffic wardens have been deployed to control traffic.
“People are there at all times of day,” says Taylor. “We are delighted to have the attraction but we have asked for there to be a little bit of respect. We are trying to get to grips with it, and in the new year we will try to organise things a bit better.”
This new Banksy drama follows the infamous shredding of his “Girl With Balloon” at a Sotheby’s auction in October and another artist buying one of his works for £561,000 with the intention of destroying it.