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A new Banksy artwork has been vandalised in his hometown of Bristol, only hours after it appeared.
The painting is a parody of the iconic Girl With A Pearl Earring by Dutch master Vermeer, with a yellow security alarm box replacing the earring of the original piece.
The elusive Bristolian artist has called the piece ‘Girl With A Pierced Eardrum’ and admitted it was his work after posting it on his official website on Monday.
However, only hours later the 15ft mural, which is potentially worth tens of thousands of pounds, had been defaced with black paint.
The new artwork was created on Saturday night and is on the wall of the Dockside Studio on Bristol’s harbourside, which is owned by Bristol City Council.
Ellie Morgan, who is a tenant of the building and a joint owner of the recording studio, said: ‘It’s a real shame and a bit annoying. It was vandalised on Monday night between seven and eight. Someone just snuck down, did it and then snuck off.
‘One of the bands that was recording came in and said someone had thrown paint on it. When we went out it was still wet and dripping.
‘We thought about trying to clean it off but were worried that putting a hose on it might have damaged the painting.’
This isn’t the first time that Banksy’s artwork has been defaced by suspected rival graffiti artists and vandals.
Art Buff, a piece which appeared in Folkestone last month had a penis drawn on it, whilst thieves in Cheltenham have attempted to steal the ‘Spybooth’ piece, which is believed to be a satirical dig at the nearby GCHQ building.