Banksy saved by window cleaner inspires street art sanctuary

A new Banksy mural, which appeared on a disused river crossing in Hull on Friday (26 January 2018) will form the centrepiece of a creative space for street artists.

The stencilled image of a child carrying a wooden sword with a pencil attached and text reading “Draw the raised bridge!” was first noticed by passers-by in Scott Street, Wincolmlee on Thursday (25 January 2018). Banksy shared an image of the work on his Instagram account the following day. It is believed his latest creation might have been inspired by Hull’s recent run as UK City of Culture.

No sooner had the little Banksy boy appeared he was defaced with white paint on Sunday night (28 January 2018). Seeing the damage, window cleaner Jason Fanthorpe rushed to his rescue with water and white spirit in an attempt to restore the image. Fanthorpe said he “could not just sit back and not try to help”. “Banksy, love him or hate him, has international prestige and he’d gifted the city with his art”, Fanthorpe added.

A temporary protective screen has since been installed over the mural by Hull City Council to ward off any further vandals. A council spokesperson said the screen would “help to ensure that the public can continue to enjoy the work”. Banksy’s bridge boy has already drawn numerous visitors from as far away as Bristol and Manchester. A permanent protective cover will be installed over the mural by the end of next week.

Hull Labour councillor Alan Clark is in conversation with local graffiti artists to use the Banksy mural as the basis for a creative art space to enliven the surrounding industrial area. He insisted the Banksy would be “staying where it is” and “not moving to a museum because it will lose its meaning”.

The planned creative space around the Banksy will offer designated legal walls for graffiti artists to use as their canvas.

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