Two Banksy Murals In New Orleans Get Vandalized, Locals’ Hearts Broken
By Mikelle Leow, 30 Dec 2020
Image via Mark Gstohl / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
It seems that Banksy has ruffled some feathers, and detractors have chosen to take it out on two of his artworks in New Orleans. The Umbrella Girl and The Gray Ghost murals, both created in 2008, were slit and defaced with red paint during Christmas weekend.
Residents had their festive spirit sullied upon discovering that two of their treasures had been vandalized with the text “Team Robbo” and “King Robbo,” per the New York Post.
Umbrella Girl, found on Rampart Street, was heavily covered in red spray paint and hastily scribbled with “King Robbo.” The stencil, depicting a girl reaching out of her umbrella, is said to have been created to condemn the levee system’s inability to safeguard the city against Hurricane Katrina.
The Gray Ghost on Clio and Carondelet Streets shows a man concealing flowers with gray paint. It’s been defaced with the text “Team Robbo.”
Both murals had their barriers cut into over the weekend, the Post reported. Part of The Gray Ghost was even sliced with the shape of a tombstone.
It is believed that the “Robbo” attacks were made to avenge the late British street artist King Robbo, who died in 2014. Banksy had sparked a public feud between the two after purportedly painting over King Robbo’s 1985 work in 2009.
Carlos Fundora, a local street art tour guide saddened by the move, told the Post, “The people of New Orleans have lost a lot this year because of the pandemic, and this public art piece is a source of comfort and joy for many of them.”
The loss is indeed felt by the community, as Fundora told NOLA.com that when he tried to scrub off the red tags off Umbrella Girl, “People in cars were yelling at me, thinking I was damaging it.”
Luckily, he could remove most of the red paint from the Umbrella Girl work.
Another local, Julie Posner, said it “made [her] heart sink” that some of the damage seemed permanent. “It’s just so selfish,” she added.
In a newspaper near you. pic.twitter.com/dgZj8NzfUH— Doug MacCash (@dougmaccash) December 28, 2020
Happy to report that the “Umbrella Girl” is restored, with just a patch of red to remember the unfortunate Christmas incident by. Congratulations to Carlos Fundura and his rescue crew! https://t.co/8eSBKoVayM pic.twitter.com/n1BErRwpAx— Doug MacCash (@dougmaccash) December 28, 2020
[via ARTnews and New York Post, images via various sources]
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