What's next for Great Yarmouth and Gorleston's 'Banksys'?

A Banksy-style artwork has appeared in Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth.

A Banksy-style artwork has appeared in Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Merrivale Model Village

A seaside council is planning to preserve street art - thought to be by Banksy - recently discovered in the area.

After a week of new discoveries, possible authentications and even some defacements, people in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston are still unsure as to whether they are by the street artist.

Banksy mural arcade grabber Gorleston

The tag on the possible Banksy mural on Gorleston's lower prom indicates a collaboration between Banksy and local street artist Emo - 'a big big claim' if not true according to one expert. - Credit: Liz Coates

Great Yarmouth Borough Council have begun planning ways to protect the artwork found at one of the sites.

In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “We are just as intrigued and curious about the art works that have appeared in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft as everyone else.

"We are currently trying to clarify if they are indeed genuine Banksy artworks and in the meantime are looking at how we can best protect them.

"Where applicable we are talking with the building owners, such as at the Admiralty Road site where we now have permission to put up a protective cover to preserve the artwork.

“It is a busy time of year for our seafronts, but the excitement surrounding this does seem to have drawn extra visitors keen to view the works and has also generated interest on an international level.

Banksy Admiralty Road Great Yarmouth

The bus shelter dancers in Admiralty Road was the most convincing as a genuine Banksy according to our readers' poll. - Credit: Liz Coates

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"It would be nice to think this may be an endorsement of the joint City of Culture bid we have made with East Suffolk Council, and given the choice of locations being Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft, then this may be the case.”

On Friday, one of the existing pieces in Gorleston had been defaced.

This may be related to a "collaboration" by another street artist from Lowestoft.

There were also reports that graffiti had been seen in Great Yarmouth town centre.

A spokesperson for Norfolk Police said: "We have received reports this week of graffiti in the Great Yarmouth area, however there is nothing to suggest at this stage that they are linked, or as a result of any incident in particular.

Street art which has appeared on a wall in Nicholas Everitt Park, Lowestoft

Street art which has appeared on a wall in Nicholas Everitt Park, Lowestoft, which is believed to be a new work by street artist Banksy. - Credit: PA

"The reports are being investigated, and we will speak with local authorities where appropriate, along with carrying out regular police patrols in the area."

The mysterious artist known as Banksy has still yet to verify the art work.

7 areas with Bankys and what happened to them

  1. Earlier in 2021, Reading prison was home to a Banksy which shows an escaping prisoner on one of its exterior walls. There were a few attempts of defacing by other people and the prison responded by fencing the art work.
  2. In Dover, Banksy painted an EU flag believed to be in opposition of Brexit. The owner of the building whitewashed the art work.
  3. "Kissing Coppers" in Brighton was transferred onto a canvas and sold for nearly $600,000 at auction.
  4. Several pieces in London - including The Rat of Tooley Street, Rivington Street His Masters Voice and Graffiti Painter on Portobello Road
     - are still viewable and are part of a guided tour.
  5. "Well hung lover" in Bristol is still viewable and regularly attracts international visitors to the city.
  6. "Rose trap" in Bristol - one of Banksy's oldest stencils - is still on display. The building has been painted over, but the stencil, and the original paintwork underneath, remains framed on the wall.
  7. "Christmas reindeer" in Birmingham was painted on the side of a rail bridge in 2019. Network Rail decided to preserve the piece after several other Midlands-based work had been sold.