'Banksy' Southampton mural painted over


A mural thought to have been by street artist Banksy on a Southampton garden wall has been painted over.

The image was of a child sitting on the pavement holding a red balloon, which formed part of the phrase "no future".

It was sprayed on to a white wall in Bevois Valley in recent weeks and a photo of it appeared on the artist's website, indicating it was genuine.

By Tuesday evening, the image was daubed with white paint. It is not yet known who is responsible.

image captionA photograph of the mural in Bevois Valley appears on Banksy's website

A word "styles" was also added to the end of the phrase, "no future".

Fans of the artist had been visiting the site on Tuesday to take photos of the mural, after the image appeared in the media.

It is believed the painting, which was drawn on a private wall, may have been worth £35,000, according to Keith Sekree, owner of the TAOI Gallery in Shamrock Quay, which sells Banksy works.

He said the owner of the wall had contacted him with a view to selling it, but added the image was now "worthless".

Bristol-based Banksy, who has never revealed his identity, is known for painting political and satirical graffiti on walls during the night, apparently unnoticed.

It is believed he may have painted the mural while on his way to Bestival on the Isle of Wight in September, but the image has only recently appeared on his website.

Banksy's works of art have fetched as much as £600,000 at auction. Collectors reportedly include Angelina Jolie and Damien Hirst.

The BBC has been unable to contact the owner of the wall.

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