Just days after Banksy gifted his hometown of Bristol with a new Valentine’s work, it has been vandalised.

                                                            Vandalised Banksy Art Work. Courtesy: Matt Huston for BBC

A mere 48 hours after Banksy’s new Valentine’s mural appeared in Bristol in the early hours of the 13th February it was defaced by vandals. Banksy had confirmed the artwork was his own in an Instagram post as the clocks turned midnight on Valentine’s Day.

The mural depicted a young girl with one hand holding a sling shot, still mid-action from firing roses – that are in reality ivy spray painted red and attached to the wall giving it a 3D effect –at the wall of the house it was painted on.

Plexiglass had been placed over the mural to protect it from vandals, while allowing the general public and locals to view the mural – a gift to the community – on Valentine’s weekend.

However, it now has the addition of some bright pink lettering, as the plexiglass protecting it was smashed and torn down.

Since then a plank of wood has been used to cover the Valentine’s mural as well as a protective metal fence, meaning passersby are no longer able to see it.

Kelly Woodruff, whose father owns the property in Marsh Lane, said the flowers placed on the ‘Marsh Lane’ road sign as part of the artwork had also been stolen.

Ms Woodruff told the BBC: “It is so sad. They have taken the joy away from everyone.”

                                            The covered-up Banksy art work. Courtesy: Bristol Live

She said that the measures being taken – including covering the mural – were only temporary measures, and although this might be frustrating for the public in the short-term the measures were aimed at preserving the artwork for the long-term. This includes getting the artwork cleaned and restored to its original state.

She added, “We want this to be available to everyone for years to come and for as many people as possible to come along to take a look and enjoy it.”