Whitewash as Banksy 'erased'
A BANKSY mural on a former social club in Eastville has been painted over.
The Gorilla in a Pink Mask mural, depicting an ape with a pink eye mask over its face, has been a familiar sight on Fishponds Road for more than 10 years.
But the stencil was whitewashed over when the building was turned into a Muslim cultural centre. It could prove to be an expensive mistake – an 8ft mural on a hotel in Torquay is claimed to have raised the value of the building by £150,000.
Saeed Ahmed, owner of the cultural centre, said he had never heard of the famous artist and painted over the gorilla because he thought it was a regular piece of graffiti.
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Mr Ahmed said: "I thought it was worthless. I didn't it know it was valuable. That's why I painted over it. I really am sorry if people are upset."
A paintings conservator, Richard Pelter of Park Street-based International Fine Art Conservation Studios, was last night attempting to remove the whitewash using large cotton buds and sensitive cleaning materials.
Neighbour Dean Meadows said: "It's a shame. It's currently being shared around the world on Twitter, so hopefully Banksy will hear and replace it himself."