Banksy's Birmingham artwork highlighting homelessness preserved

Written by on December 10, 2019

Banksy’s festive artwork highlighting homelessness has been preserved in Birmingham.

Plastic covering the reindeer painted in the city’s Jewellery Quarter was attached by wall owners Network Rail.

Within hours of its Instagram unveiling, featuring a man named Ryan, a vandal sprayed red noses on the two reindeer.

The Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT) said the work was “important to protect.”

A film on the artist’s social media, showing a man on a bench being “pulled” by the reindeer, has been viewed almost 3m times.

Barriers were later installed around the piece in Vyse Street, but a person managed to jump them and deface it on Monday.

The BBC has contacted Network Rail for comment.

Luke Crane, the executive director of the JQDT, said: “We want the artwork to remain and we are keen to protect and preserve the piece.

“It can have a real impact on the community by keeping Banksy’s message of homelessness.”

Mr Crane said a man aged 25 to 30 wearing a grey hoodie, jeans and trainers “casually walked off” after he sprayed the noses red.

Unveiling the work, Banksy praised had the generosity of people who gave Ryan food and drink while they filmed.

The post said: “God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him ever asking for anything.”

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