Is it a Banksy Sketch? Who Really Created The ‘Hula-Hooping Girl’ Mural?

Is it a Banksy Sketch? Who Really Created The 'Hula-Hooping Girl' Mural?

A graffiti artist has insisted a mural of a girl using a bicycle tyre as a hula hoop is his own, despite Banksy sharing a picture of the piece on his own Instagram page – the anonymous artist’s usual way of authenticating his work.

Itchers, based in Birmingham, has assured local media in Nottingham that the artwork is his own, saying he even has the stencil to prove it.

The piece appeared on a wall last Tuesday on the corner of Rothesay Avenue in Lenton, Nottingham – but Banksy didn’t share an image of the mural on Instagram until Saturday.

Once it was ‘confirmed,’ as a Banksy, the wall mural was said to be worth more than street’s average house price of £214,280.

But Itchers is defiant that the artwork is his own, telling NottinghamLive: ‘It’s definitely mine, I’m not sure what he is doing to be honest, I’m flabbergasted.’

Itchers says he is unsure whether the world-famous artist is just trying to promote his work, adding: ‘I just want answers from him, and I want to know why he is trying to claim my work.

‘I’ve got the copy of the stencil I used – it’s clearly mine.’

Itchers, also known as Hers, has previously revealed himself to be behind works that were mistaken for Banksy’s in Rugby and Lichfield, Staffordshire.

The piece appeared on a wall last Tuesday on the corner of Rothesay Avenue in Lenton, Nottingham.

Sprayed in black and white, the tongue-in-cheek image sits just behind a battered bike chained to a lamp post with an infinity lock.

The bike is missing a tyre.

Surinder Kaur, 42, who runs the beauty salon next to the artwork, said the bike had appeared at the same time as the mural.

‘He brought the bike with him – there is one tyre on the bike and the other tyre is in the picture as the little girl’s hula hoop,’ Kaur said.

She told the PA news agency that within hours, the council had rushed to protect the piece by placing clear plastic sheeting over it.

Vandals have sprayed painted over the plastic two or three times already.

‘Everyone is very excited and many, many people are coming to see the picture,’ Ms Kaur said.

‘Everyone was confused about whether it was real or not real but it’s an amazing picture, it’s amazing art.’

Banksy’s ‘Devolved Parliament’ – featuring the Houses of Parliament filled with chimpanzees – sold for £9.9 million last year, setting a new record for his work according to valuation website

Many of his murals have also been lifted from walls and sold, with Kissing Coppers – an image of two male police officers in an embrace on the side of a Brighton pub – selling for £350,000 in 2011.

Ms Kaur said she is renting the property and so will not be entitled to any money should the mural be sold.

Ms Kaur, who has only recently reopened following lockdown, said lots of people have been coming into her salon to ask about the mural, but she is not yet sure whether it will create a boost for her business.

‘Let’s see – I’m not sure about anything right now,’ she said.

In July, a coronavirus-inspired Banksy artwork appeared on a London Tube train.

A series of rats were stencilled around a carriage wearing face masks, sneezing or clutching hand sanitiser in a piece named If You Don’t Mask, You Don’t Get.

Transport for London swiftly removed the piece in line with its anti-graffiti policy, but said: ‘We appreciate the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings.’

This summer, Banksy used the sale of his artworks to finance a 30-metre motor yacht to rescue migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

Named after 17th century French anarchist Louise Michel, the yacht features Banksy artwork on its exterior.

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