Nottingham City Council installed a temporary cover to protect a painting resembling the work of street artist Banksy – but moments later it was defaced.
Excitement and crowds built into the morning of Thursday, October 15, after artwork featuring a young girl hula-hooping a bicycle tyre appeared just off Ilkeston Road.
While many residents and passers-by had hoped it had been done by the famed graffiti artist and activist Tom Godfrey, the curator of the Bonington Gallery at Nottingham Trent University, told Nottinghamshire Live he has “strong doubts”.
The protective cover was put over the artwork during the afternoon on Thursday.
A Nottingham City Council spokesman said: “The emergence of this artwork overnight has attracted understandable interest and excitement in Nottingham.
“However, it’s difficult for us to say much more until we know whether this is a genuine Banksy or not. In the meantime, we’ve spoken to the property owner about protecting the artwork and have installed a temporary cover this afternoon.
“While it’s clearly a source of great interest, we have to remind everyone that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic with very high Covid cases in Nottingham. We would urge people not to congregate here and remember that social distancing rules still apply to protect ourselves and others.”
However, images taken by Nottinghamshire Live show the covering was then vandalised.
An onlooker who witnessed the act but wished to remain anonymous said: “His words when he did it were, ‘you think this is a joke. I’ve got mates in prison for this'”.