He might be one the most famous street artist in the world, but nowhere loves Banksy like his hometown of Bristol, UK. It’s the location that the grafitti master chose to host his divisive ‘Dismaland‘ exhibit, as well as where fans can find some of the artist’s earliest works.
Despite Banksy’s worldwide popularity, a new business owner in the city clearly isn’t a fan of his style. After buying a pizza shop on Bristol’s Park Row, a painter was hired to cover what is believed to be one of Banksy’s first murals. Spray-painted sometime in the 1990s, the artwork had been there for over 20 years before the latest owner opted to turn it into a tearoom.
The workman painting over the design only realised the significance of the grafitti when Banksy fan Simon Whiteaway walked by on Tuesday.
Whiteaway said: “I walked by and saw a painter going over the mural and said to him, ‘What are you doing?’
“I had to explain to him what it was and he was shocked.
“The shop was a skate shop for a long time – Rollermania – and Banksy knew its owner, Tony Coffey.
“In the 90s Tony gave him £20 or £30 to spray his shutters.”
Confirmation that the mural was indeed a Banksy came from fellow grafitti artist Inkie, who hung out with the mysterious street artist in the 80s, along with Massive Attack founder 3D (real name Roger Del Naja).
He said: “It was first painted by 3D Massive Attack in the mid-eighties, then me and FLX painted it followed by Dicy And Feek TCF crew.
“Banksy then painted a rather ugly freestyle over this in his pre-stencils period. ‘It didn’t go down well and probably better for him it’s being painted over.”