Germany had one last remaining Banksy work of art – it has now been vandalised Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. The elusive street artist sprayed the stencil ‘Bomb Hugger’, which depicts a little girl embracing a bomb, on a concrete pillar in Hamburg’s city centre some 12 years ago. A local arts foundation installed a protective plexiglass covering over it in 2011.
But a vandal was not discouraged in the slightest by this protective covering, and sprayed the word “GRAFFITI” on the guard, adding a heavy underline which dripped underneath the protective glass and defaced the artwork. The case is being treated as an act of deliberate vandalism against Germany’s last remaining Banksy.
Reports on Twitter appeared on 10 February, suggesting that the damage occurred approximately two weeks ago. The blue spray-painted letters have since been removed. But surprisingly the Hamburg Police are not investigating the incident because they have not received any criminal complaints.
Hamburg Police have responded by reportedly telling the German daily that the artwork was undamaged by the incident, although it is plainly obvious that the work has been defaced. According to Rene Spiegelberger, founder of the Spiegelberger Foundation, which installed the protective cover over the work, the foundation is currently exploring methods to improve the protection of the work after what will hopefully be its successful restoration.
It seems rather surprising considering the rarity of Banksy’s work in Germany, but Hamburg’s residents have barely noticed or reacted to the incident.
In the UK Banksy’s Cheltenham mural “Spy Booth” has been granted listed protection. The mural created international news coverage when it was splattered with white paint, sprayed with silver and defaced with red graffiti. At one point a thief attempted to cut the mural from the wall while the community fought the property owner over ownership of the artwork. But the piece has survived.