Has a Banksy just been discovered in Birmingham?

A mural, which appeared on a Birmingham street on Saturday (7 July 2018) is said to bear all the trademark signs of a genuine Banksy artwork.

The image of a little girl stencilled on a wall in Floodgate Street, Digbeth, is thought to have been created overnight on Friday (6 July 2018). It was spotted by a local man who told the press he believed the elusive street artist was responsible as ‘the pure level of detail in this work speaks volumes’.

The suspected Banksy girl sits on the ground clutching a red heart-shaped balloon with the word ‘TAME’ painted inside it. She has already tugged at the heartstrings of local residents, several of whom have stopped to pose for photographs with her.

This is the first time a Banksy is reported to have been discovered in Birmingham. The enigmatic artist, political activist and film director has tended to favour the streets of his native Bristol as his canvas.

Banksy murals have also appeared in cities as far flung as Melbourne, San Francisco and Toronto. The fact that several cities in which Banskys have been unveiled played host to Massive Attack concerts has fuelled rumours that the artist is actually Robert Del Naja, a member of the band.

Banksy’s artworks can command millions of pounds at sale but their removal from the public locations in which they appear has sparked fierce debate over the ownership of street art. Local residents reacted angrily to the removal of Banksy’s ‘Love Plane’ from the wall of an outdoor car park in Liverpool in 2016.

The BBC has asked Banksy to confirm whether he is responsible for the work in Digbeth. If the street art is genuine, it remains to be seen whether locals will fight to protect the ‘TAME’ girl as their own.

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