A striking piece of Edinburgh street art reputed to have been created by the world-renowned graffiti artist Banksy has been defaced in the ultimate act of criticism.
The work, featuring a girl apparently looking at a magnifying glass, was attributed by many to the elusive Banksy.
It appeared on a wall in Grindlay Court in the city at the end of January and sparked a debate among Capital residents over whether it was a genuine Banksy or a tribute piece in his style.
One theory was that the girl was looking at a mobile phone, while another suggested she was peering through magnifying glass in tribute to Sherlock Holmes.
The ‘Banksy’ appeared days after the trip hop trio Massive Attack had performed in Glasgow. One member, Robert Del Naja, 52, has repeatedly been linked to the artist, who is understood to be from Bristol, and has never been filmed or photographed.
The claim that it was an original Banksy was given further credence by Stuart Thomson of Heriot-Watt University’s safeguarding department.
When the Evening News broke the story earlier this month, Mr Thomson said: “I have seen the original painting which was given to my friend as a present from Banksy himself.
“I was shocked but also excited. You don’t usually see this sort of thing in Scotland. Banksy is actually in Edinburgh quite often and goes out with my friend when he’s here.
“I will have been possibly the first person to have seen it. It will be worth a lot of money.”
However, the ‘Banksy’ may now be ruined after it was painted over and given a public ration of zero out of ten by a mystery vandal.
It has been obscured with a black painted box complete with a red circle and cross.
Whoever was responsible also daubed “Trite, boring, dull, badly painted. 0/10” next to it.
Capital author Sara Sheridan, who spotted the defaced work, posted an image on Twitter and wrote: “Edinburgh’s new Banksy didn’t go down well with the capital’s art critics then. #bittermuch?”