Police investigate after offensive graffiti appears above Banksy artwork
- Credit: Liz Dutton
Offensive graffiti that appeared above a Banksy artwork on the North Norfolk coast has been removed and reported to the police, a council has confirmed.
The graffiti, which referenced a conspiracy theory, appeared above the Banksy artwork on Cromer's east beach, on Thursday, August 19.
Written in thick black lettering the word was swiftly covered up by NNDC's property services team and fully removed on Friday morning.
Sarah Butikofer, leader of NNDC said the local authority was first made aware of the graffiti by a member of the public.
She said: "Obviously it's very disappointing that anybody would want to deface artwork in our seaside town of Cromer but particularly in that area.
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"We did act fast, we covered it overnight because we found it so offensive and we do not welcome that kind of behaviour in north Norfolk."
Mrs Butikofer said the incident had been reported to the police but she found it "odd" that the graffiti was done during "daylight hours" and nobody reported it to the council during that time or tried to stop the person or people doing it.
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"It has been reported to the police, as far as we are concerned it is a race crime," she said.
Banksy's Cromer artwork depicting a group of crabs holding a sign which reads "luxury rentals only" appeared on the seawall last month and is one of a number of pieces the graffiti artist has claimed on the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.
Called the 'A Great British Spraycation' other paintings in series have appeared in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft.
Earlier this week NNDC confirmed it would be covering the Cromer mural in varnish to help protect it from the elements.
Mrs Butifoker the Banksy artwork was "very good" for the town.
"It's been enjoyed by a lot of people and it's highlighted a really important issue for us and many other areas for the town and it's something we're all working on to try and find a solution to," she said.
A spokesperson for Norfolk Constabulary said confirmed officers had "received a report of a hate crime, after a word, viewed as offensive, was sprayed on Cromer Promenade."
They said enquiries are ongoing.