A council has explained its decision to swiftly remove a piece of Banksy street art from a wall near a Norfolk beach.
The elusive graffiti artist spent a short time on the coast of Norfolk and Waveney this month, leaving his mark on the region with a selection of vibrant works.
However, one of these was swiftly removed by Great Yarmouth Borough Council contractors – a painting on one of the walls near Gorleston beach, showing a drunk man propelling a child into the air in a rubber dinghy.
With the work close to the spot three-year-old Ava-May Littleboy died after being thrown from an inflatable trampoline, the council took the decision to act quickly and remove it.
In a statement issued on Saturday evening, a GYBC spokesperson said: “In light of the tragic fatality of a child in 2018 which involved an inflatable not far from the yacht pond at Gorleston, the illustration at that location has been removed.
“Council operatives, acting in good faith, and aware of the local sensitivities, arranged for it to be covered over as part of their normal inspection and maintenance regime of the yacht pond.
“However, the council is confident that the work can be restored and placed in a more suitable alternative location.”
Three-year-old Ava-May died on Gorleston beach on July 1, 2018, after the trampoline she was playing on exploded.
The council spokesman added: “We believe in the circumstances it was the right decision, respecting local people and feelings.
“We thank ‘Banksy’ for all the wonderful artwork and fully appreciate these circumstances would not have been known by the artist.
“We continue to celebrate his gifts to the town and as this is creating so much interest, the council has today installed barriers at the bus stop shelter at Admiralty Road, Great Yarmouth and has arranged protection of all authenticated Banksy artworks in the public realm with Perspex covers.
“We are asking visitors to come and enjoy this fabulous work but please be respectful to local residents.”
The artist, who protects his identity by only working under his pseudonym, created works in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Cromer during his “spraycation” – and legitimised them with a post on his Instagram page.