We reported last week that an early Banksy painting titled “Gorilla in a Pink Mask” was whitewashed over by the new owners of a building in Bristol. Saeed Ahmed thought the work of art was just another piece of graffiti and ordered it to be painted over. After a huge public outcry which caused international news reports, it has now been partially restored. The stenciled artwork seems to all be there but it has faded quite a bit. It is also not known if the iconic image has been brought back from the dead by professional conservationists or if they have employed techniques that may further harm the painting. “I thought it was worthless,” he stated “I didn’t know it was valuable and that’s why I painted over it. I really am sorry if people are upset.”.The mural is one of Banksy’s earliest works it is illustrated in a number of books on the international artist. The Owner when questioned about the distruction of the art had never heard of Banksy. The piece known as gorilla in a pink mask was painted on the wall of the former North Bristol Social Club, in Eastville section of Bristol and had been a landmark in the area for more than 10 years. The building has recently been turned into an Islamic cultural centre. Ahmed said he was willing to explore options to see if the whitewash can be removed and the painting restored. In May another work by Banksy was lost when An artwork painted on the side of a hotel was destroyed by vandals. Staff at the Grosvenor Hotel in Torquay, Devon were outraged to discover the image of a young boy drawing a robot valued at £150,000 – had been damaged. Vandals broke through protective perspex glass protecting the painting – which appeared last October – and doused the wall with paint stripper, obliterating’ the small boy. Mr Ahmed, who had apologised for whitewashing the Bristol mural said, the graffiti seems to be important to many different people in the Bristol area and we never would have removed it had we been told. It is now important to put together a registry of street art and list anything of value before they disappear forever.
A new organization on Facebook has appeared in the last few months to monotor and protect valuable street art.
Here is the link: SOSA Save Our Street Art