Banksy returned to 'original concept' as additions painted over

Added Banksy elements painted over

Council workers have been on Gorleston's lower prom today (Thursday, September 30) returning the Banksy there to its 'original concept.' - Credit: Lizzie Boden

Teddies and tags added to an authentic Banksy in Gorleston have been painted over by the council.

The arcade claw was painted by the guerrilla artist as part of his August 'Spraycation' which saw some ten works pop up across Norfolk and Suffolk.

But before it was was claimed it was added to by local artist Emo in what he called "a collaboration."

Emo adds to Banksy Gorleston

Teddies were added to the Gorleston Banksy and soon after red paint was added, the tag Emo painted over and replaced with Ego. - Credit: Liz Coates

On Thursday (September 30) the added elements were painted over by Great Yarmouth Borough Council "allowing Banksy's original concept to be appreciated."

The authority said in a statement: “The council recognises the growing public interest in street art, especially the works undertaken by Banksy in his recent ‘Spraycation’ on the Norfolk-Suffolk coast in early August of this year, and the impressive work created by the Reprezent Project and their associates as part of the Out There Festival.

“The amusement arcade ‘grab claw’ works appeared in a shelter on Gorleston seafront and soon after the work first appeared, some teddy bears were stencilled beneath these.

"After communication with the local artist, these additions have been painted over allowing Banksy’s original concept to be appreciated. The work continues to be protected behind a screen to ensure its preservation and enjoyment for all.

“The council is actively working with a range of local street artists to support them in creating opportunities for their own works to be celebrated around the borough.”

A Banksy artwork on Admiralty Road in Great Yarmouth

A Banksy artwork on Admiralty Road in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Liz Coates

Days after the teddy bears were added the artwork was graffitied over with red paint crossing out Emo and replacing it with 'Ego', perhaps criticising the collaboration.

A potential Banksy artwork on Gorleston seafront has been defaced.

The Banksy artwork on Gorleston seafront after it had been 'defaced.' - Credit: Jayne Kimbling

Reaction to the removal of the teddy bears has been mixed on social media.

Some said it wasn't the same without the bears and that council workers' time could be better spent.

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Others said they hated them and that it was better to see the image as Banksy intended, the person sitting on the bench completing the picture.

The image, in common with the Admiralty Road bus shelter dancers, is protected by a polycarbonate screen.

The council has said it is working with industry experts on the best materials to use, including the most up-to-date methods of pre-empting problems such as condensation, mildew, and fading in the long term.

It says Banksy had helped put the borough on the map and shone a much-welcome spotlight on the town, drawing new visitors coming for the first time.