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An artwork that appeared on the side of a house in Bristol has been confirmed as the work of street artist Banksy.
The piece features a stencil of a girl firing red flowers made with spray-painted ivy from a catapult.
Banksy published a picture of the work on his Instagram page at midnight on Valentine’s Day.
Kelly Woodruff, whose father owns the property in Barton Hill, said they now wanted to protect the “special” work from the approaching Storm Dennis.
“As it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s really special and to have it in 3D with the flowers is incredible,” said 37-year-old Ms Woodruff.
“There’s so many people coming and enjoying it, taking pictures, it’s fantastic.
“There’s been a lot of debate if it is a Banksy or not. Most people I’ve spoken to think it 100% is, and they’re naming it the Valentine’s Banksy.
“It’s incredible and beautiful.”
Flowers placed on the road sign as part of the artwork had already been stolen, said Ms Woodruff, and the protective plastic screen they placed over it on Thursday evening had been vandalised.
Ms Woodruff said her family had contacted Bristol City Council’s street maintenance department.
The council said it has recommended the family get in touch with the International Fine Art Conservation Studios (IFACS) in Bristol for advice.
The Bristol Somali Community Association, based in Barton Hill, tweeted about the artwork after it was spotted.
Co-founder Saed Ali wrote: “We hope it’s Banksy’s work.
“Come and have a look yourself. Whoever painted, it’s worth admiring their creativity.” UPDATE 15/02/2020
Sadly the Bristol Valentine’s Day Banksy mural has been vandalised
A mural by Banksy has been defaced just 48 hours after it appeared.
The piece, featuring a young girl firing red flowers from a catapult, appeared on the side of a house in Bristol on Thursday.
Banksy confirmed he was behind the piece by posting a picture of the work on his Instagram page at midnight on Valentine’s Day.
But an offensive phrase has now been daubed over the street artist’s design in bright pink lettering.
A Perspex panel placed over the artwork on Thursday to protect it has also been torn down, with the vandals directly defacing Banksy’s design.
The British Somali Community Association, based in Barton Hill, tweeted that the vandalism was “shocking” and it was “sad seeing the devastation”.
Kelly Woodruff, whose father owns the property in Marsh Lane, said flowers placed on a road sign as part of the artwork had also been stolen.
She said her family were “devastated” and were taking steps to protect the mural from further harm.
Temporary measures such as protective boxes and security fencing will be erected this weekend, before longer-term solutions are put in place.
Ms Woodruff said: “It is so sad. They have taken the joy away from everyone.
“We are very keen to stress that these temporary measures, which could cause some short-term frustration, are there to protect and preserve the art for the future.
“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.”