By Ellie Brown, News Subeditor
Bristol-based street artist Banksy highlights the problem of homelessness in his new work 'God Bless Birmingham' - which has now been added to by the public.
The artist, who rose to fame for his murals in areas of Bristol including Park Street and Stokes Croft, announced a new work on his Instagram account on Monday 9 December.
Painted onto a wall on a street in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, Banksy's piece depicts two reindeer carrying off a bench - where a homeless man is sleeping - into the sky.
According to Banksy's Instagram post, 'God Bless Birmingham' is also inspired by the kindness they witnessed on their trip to the city. They stated:
'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.'
However, red noses were spotted on the reindeer on Tuesday 10 December, only a day after it was announced.
Within hours of #Banksy confirming his incredible piece of art, it’s unfortunately already been defaced. Luckily a member of the #JQ community is on hand to help restore his work! #banksyinbrum pic.twitter.com/cxyaHwqnns— Jewellery Quarter BID (@JQBID) December 9, 2019
In a statement given to Bristol Live, an executive of the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) reported being 'astounded' at the speed at which the work was 'defaced.'
'We were shocked and disgusted and one of our executives tried to clean it off, but to no avail' he said.
Security has been hired to protect the mural, following rumours of further vandalism being planned.
Featured image: Epigram / Tom Taylor