NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – New Orleans is a city known for many things, including its art.
Vandals attacked some of the city’s most prominent pieces of street art over the Christmas holiday, hitting not one, but two famous paintings by world-famous street artist, Banksy.
The first iconic piece, known as the “Gray Ghost” at the corner of Carondelet and Clio streets, was hit sometime around Christmas day.
“I could not believe that someone had deliberately cut through plexiglass, into the cement, and then painted red to deface the Banksy. Couldn’t believe it!” said Julie Posner, who discovered the vandalized painting.
Another Banksy masterpiece, known as “Umbrella Girl” on North Rampart street, also met a similar fate, splattered with red paint. The incident left locals in disbelief.
“This is so bad, I don’t know who did this and why but it’s ridiculous,” said Jamal Ayyad.
Ayyad owns The Orange Store next to Banksy’s “Umbrella Girl” painting. He says the artwork brought foot traffic into his store.
“We have a lot of tourists that used to come to the business. After they would walk and see the painting, they would walk to the business and eat here, but now, all that is gone,” said Ayyad.
Posner says the acts of vandalism could be attributed to a group that follows Banksy’s rival artist, King Robbo.
“There are people using the phrase ‘Team Robbo’ and deliberately going around defacing Banksy works of art!” said Posner.
No matter who’s responsible, locals say they want justice.
“I would like to go to the police and charge him with whatever we can, as far as vandalism, and have him have to pay for the cost of the repairs,” said Posner.
Until then, other iconic Banksy works in the city are in jeopardy of being ruined.
The damaged pieces of art are two of three original paintings Banksy created in 2008. The Banksy paintings were vandalized back in 2014, the same year that rival street artist King Robbo died.
Anyone with information on who is responsible for these damages is asked to call police.