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Early Banksy partially painted over

Image caption The early Banksy artwork was partially painted over before a passerby intervened

One of Banksy’s earliest works has been partially destroyed by a shop owner who had no idea of its provenance.

The artwork was painted on the shutters of a skate shop in Bristol’s Park Row in the 1990s.

New owner Jo Xie is opening a teashop on the site, and started work to clean up the shutters.

“We were halfway done painting, and someone asked if they could take one last photo because it’s a Banksy – but I had no idea.”

‘Shocked’

The chipped and faded artwork was recognised by Banksy aficionado Simon Whiteway.

“I walked by and saw a painter going over the mural; I had to explain to him what it was and he was shocked.

“The shop was a skate shop called Rollermania for a long time, and Banksy knew its owner Tony Coffey.

“In the 1990s, Tony gave him £20 or £30 to spray his shutters.”

The work was done long before Banksy’s stencil artworks became internationally recognised.

Jo Xie and her business partner are inviting local street artists to come up with new ideas for the bottom half of the shutters.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-45516616

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