King's Lynn Banksy artwork 'could be redisplayed', say council chiefs as removal defended
Council chiefs say they are exploring ways of redisplaying a Banksy artwork which was removed from a Lynn monument before the identity of its creator was known.
Crowds flocked to other parts of the region at the weekend to see works compiled by the reclusive artist during a recent “Spraycation”.
And he confirmed on Friday night that the works included an ice cream cone and tongue placed on the statue of the Victorian fairground manufacturer and town mayor Frederick Savage in Lynn’s London Road.
But anyone hoping to see the work in place would have been left disappointed as it had already been removed by West Norfolk Council staff.
However, despite fierce criticism over the weekend, the authority has today defended its approach, arguing that its critics were commenting “with the benefit of hindsight” after the artist's video was released.
A spokesman said: “When the statue was defaced on 4 August, there was no indication that the artist was in Norfolk and the piece was not characteristic of Banksy’s usual style.
“The additions to the statue were removed on the 4 August, in the same way that any graffiti or other defacement to statues or monuments would be removed. This took place a week and a half before the video was broadcast.
“The ice cream cone, sadly not the tongue, is still in our possession and now that is confirmed as a Banksy original we will explore how we can make this available for public view.”
The authority said it had been contacted by both members of the public and staff about the items when they initially appeared.
Elsewhere, there was anger in Lowestoft on Sunday after one of the town's Banksy works was vandalised, while another work in Yarmouth has also been removed by officials there.