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Merrivale Model Village

‘Go big or go home’: is Banksy in Great Yarmouth?

The elusive graffiti artist appears to be enjoying a summer staycation after a number of Banksy-esque artworks have been spotted in seaside towns around England

Anonymous social satire graffiti artists, they’re just like us! Just as the rest of us enjoy taking a nice trip to the beach when the summer months hit, it seems so too does Banksy, who may or may not have recently spent a lovely long weekend along the east coast of England. 

Over the last few days a number of artworks in the style of the street artist have appeared in seaside towns including Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, and Lowestoft. Most recently, a piece was spotted on the side of a miniature stable in Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth. 

Written in red paint, the words “Go Big or Go Home” appear on the side of a tiny thatched stable alongside a small mouse that is standing on a wooden wheel. Another tiny thatched stable, this one with a miniature horse inside, has been signed with the artist’s name – not a usual occurrence with Banksy pieces. 

Merrivale Model Village posted about the artwork yesterday afternoon, explaining the model stable was a new addition to its village. “Could it be that the one and only BANKSY had made a secret visit to Merrivale?” the post enthusiastically speculates. “To have such a fantastic artist apparently choose to grace our tiny village with his street art is amazing!” The owner of the model village told the BBC they are now trying to ascertain if the artwork is authentic.

As well as Merrivale Model Village, numerous other works have been seen including a Banksy-esque piece depicting people dancing appeared on a bus shelter in Great Yarmouth, while a stencil of a child next to a sandcastle was found on a wall outside the former Lowestoft Electrical shop on London Road North. Also in Lowestoft was seen a graffiti of three children in a scrap-metal boat alongside the message “We’re all in the same boat”. It has since been removed. 

None of the pieces have yet been authenticated and Banksy has not commented so far. But, Banksy expert Prof Paul Gough, principal and vice chancellor of Arts University Bournemouth, did tell the BBC he was “pretty sure” the works were by Banksy or “very good fakes”. The timing of the appearance of the art is potentially suspicious, however, coming hot on the heels of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, and Lowestoft submitting a joint bid to become the next UK City of Culture in 2025.