A passer-by has filmed the moment a man tagged a painting resembling the work of anonymous street artist Banksy, leaving many people angered.
The artwork, which appeared just off Ilkeston Road on October 15, was initially suspected to have been painted by famous artist and activist Banksy.
However experts have since cast “strong doubts”.
Nottingham City Council decided to place a protective Perspex sheet over the wall art after it garnered large crowds and a huge amount of praise.
It depicts a young girl hula-hooping a bicycle tyre, while the physical bike lies in front of her, secured to a signpost.
Shortly after the council protected the painting, it was defaced with a white graffiti tag and the act was caught on camera by a shocked bystander.
The video footage shows a figure wearing a black hoodie and a face mask tagging the wall and protective cover with spray-paint from a can.
While this initial graffiti tag was cleaned off, it has again been subject to another tagging, this time in black spray paint which has covered most of the wall.
A tag in orange paint also reads: “Mass produced”.
The acts have also divided opinion and created a debate however, considering the original artwork is – by definition – vandalism.
“When does graffiti become art? Someone paints on a wall, it’s vandalism. When someone else paints on top of it, it’s bad,” said reader Michael Creamer.
And the very expert who initially cast doubts over the painting, Tom Godfrey, curator of the Bonington Gallery at Nottingham Trent University, told Nottinghamshire Live he believes the subsequent graffiti tags are a “valid contribution” to this commentary and debate.
He said: “I see the subsequent graffiti as a valid contribution to the commentary and debate that is happening right now across various press articles, comments sections and social media platforms.”
In 2014, a similar graffiti painting appeared under a bridge which runs across the Nottingham and Beeston Canal in the city.
Many initially also suspected this may have been the work of Banksy himself, until the artist came forward.
Speaking of why he cast doubts on the latest painting, Mr Godfrey added: “Graffiti and, in particular, this approach of using a stencil isn’t exclusive to Banksy especially in a city like ours, with such a rich graffiti heritage.
“There are many artists and street artists, local and international, who work and have worked in this way, and I’m sure even Banksy would want people to recognise this.”
Nottinghamshire Police has also been contacted to see if any reports of vandalism had been logged, but they had not.
The artwork will be protected by the Perspex cover until it is verified.
A spokesman for Nottingham City Council added: “The emergence of this artwork 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.”