Crowds flocking to see Hull’s new Banksy could get a nasty surprise

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A senior councillor admits the council is “at a loss” about what to do with a Banksy work daubed onto the side of a Hull bridge, as crowds of fans ignore barriers to snatch selfies.

Crowds have been flocking to Scott Street Bridge to see the stencilled artwork, featuring a young boy wearing a helmet and cape alongside the words “Draw the raised bridge”, since Banksy revealed he was behind it on Friday.

But it has left the council with a problem, with less talented graffiti artists now ‘tagging’ the work, and fans parking illegally on double-yellow lines to catch a glimpse – with reports some have already received parking tickets.

Councillor Terry Geraghty, chairman of Hull Culture and Leisure and Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for leisure and tourism, was asked by the Mail what further steps are being taken to secure the work and show it off in its best light.

PROTEST: A note left on the fence that surrounds the artwork
PROTEST: A note left on the fence that surrounds the artwork

“I have no idea what we’re to do with it,” he said.

“I don’t know what the council can do, with it being on a bridge.

“I must admit I’m at a loss.”

Cllr Geraghty added: “It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s bringing a lot of enjoyment. Banksy would not have come here had it not been for City of Culture, of course.”

MUST-SEE: People have been travelling from all over East Yorkshire to marvel at the sight
MUST-SEE: People have been travelling from all over East Yorkshire to marvel at the sight

Cllr Marjorie Brabazon, who came to see the artwork for herself, was similarly perplexed.

“It needs to be preserved in some way,” she said. “But no one seems to know how. With it being on a bridge, I’m not sure it’s removable. I think it’s great though.”

One councillor, Conservative John Abbott, suggested the work is removed.

“I think that should be cleaned off. It should be photographed and the photograph kept because Banksy is not without talent,” Mr Abbott told the BBC.

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“But to compare Banksy for example with some of the real art in the Ferens Art Gallery, which is quite mind-bogglingly brilliant at times, is, shall we say, to judge by two different sets of standards.”

A fence is in place around the work, but it is not known when this was added – either before or after Banksy made his mark.

For those not tall enough to take pictures over the fence it was frustrating, with some complaining their snaps are being ruined.

One fan even placed a note on the fence stating “Art cannot be caged”.

MAKING A STAND: Andrew Bruce, in the orange jacket, ducked under the fence to take snaps for people
MAKING A STAND: Andrew Bruce, in the orange jacket, ducked under the fence to take snaps for people

Andrew Bruce, 58, of Cottingham, was spotted by the Mail taking pictures on the other side of the fence, next to the Banksy.

Wearing a bright orange jacket of the sort workmen wear, some mistakenly thought Mr Bruce was a council employee.

But he told the Mail: “If the fence was there when Banksy turned up, he would have had to shimmy under it too, just like I’ve done today. That’s the spirit of the guy.

“I’m a bit of a wanderer. I wandered down to have a look at the art, I wanted a better look, so I went under the fence. Others then asked if I could take pictures for them and passed me their phones. I was happy to do it.”

According to reports, which could not be substantiated this weekend, parking wardens have apparently been ticketing cars parked on double-yellow lines near the bridge.

‘SPIRIT OF BANKSY’: Andrew Bruce believes Banksy would have approved of him ducking under the fence

“We should all adhere to the rules of the land,” said Mr Bruce. “But then I’ve just ducked under a fence, so is that double standards? I don’t know.”

Martin Hall, 52 of east Hull, was also seen marvelling at the work.

He thinks the council should organise itself and suggests bosses lift parking restrictions to enable people to see the spectacle without fear of a parking fine.

“A lot of people want to see it,” said Mr Hall. “But there’s nowhere to park. The council should make an exception.”

PARKING PROBLEMS: Double-yellow lines flank the Scott Street bridge
PARKING PROBLEMS: Double-yellow lines flank the Scott Street bridge

Katie Collins, 35, of west Hull, has viewed some of Banksy’s work in his home town of Bristol, and said she could not have passed up a chance to see a piece in Hull.

“I love it,” she said. “I just really hope that we don’t treat it like normal graffiti and end up scrubbing it away.

“Look at all the people who have come down to have a look. It’s as popular as the Ferens Art Gallery.”

The painting is very similar to some of Banksy’s other works, including one on the side of a London building which shows two police officers locked in an embrace.

It also uses the same colour scheme as a piece that was spray painted at Brighton Beach in 2014.

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