Lincolnshire

Banksy teased by Skegness gnome street artist

Skegness gnomes
Image caption A mystery street artist has been "gnoming around" Skegness, claiming his artwork "is better" than Banksy

A mystery street artist has been "gnoming around" Skegness, claiming his artwork" is better" than Banksy.

About a dozen art pieces have appeared around the seaside resort in recent weeks, including one which features the elusive street artist.

Other works include a blow-up shark, a gnome sitting on a toilet and one dedicated to the mayor of Skegness, Mark Dennett.

"It's a real honour to be mentioned," he said.

Mr Dennett said he had no idea who was behind it, but said it was a great advertisement for the town.

"We need Sherlock Gnomes to investigate," he said.

Banksy, who began spray-painting in Bristol in the early 1990s, is yet to officially leave his mark on Skegness, but some, including Mr Dennett, hope the "Better than Banksy" art might encourage him to visit.

Others said they were happy the resort now had "its very own Banksy".

Image caption Another of the artworks features a message to the mayor of Skegness from the "Gnome Mayor"

Skegness artist John Byford said it was nothing to do with him.

However, he said he supported any art "which got people talking".

"It's created a real buzz in the town," he added.

Image copyright John Byford
Image caption One shows a gnome on the toilet looking at a mobile phone

East Lindsey, the local authority, denied any involvement, but said: "Whilst it's un-gnome where these guys have come from, we think it's great that they've sprung up around Skegness."

Image caption Other images have a seaside theme
Image caption One features a goblin warrior

The region has a long-standing association with gnomes.

Ron Broomfield, from nearby Alford, collected more than 1,800 gnomes over a period of 50 years and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

He died in 2015, and was due to be cremated in the gnome outfit he regularly wore.

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