In this photo taken on Jan. 21, 2011, a festivalgoers has her photo taken next to a Banksy art work at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Vandals in the Utah city that hosts the Sundance Film Festival have targeted two works there by famous graffiti artist Banksy. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Chris Detrick) DESERET NEWS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; MAGS OUT
Chris Detrick, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP
This image provided by the Park City Police Department shows surveillance photos of a suspected vandal defacing two works there by famous graffiti artist Banksy on Dec. 31, 2013 in Park City, Utah. Park City police released photos of a shadowy figure who appears to be tampering with one of the murals about 3:30 a.m. on New Year�s Eve. Someone used brown paint to spray over the image of a praying boy. Another Banksy image on the side of the Java Cow building escaped the paint, but its glass covering was cracked.(AP Photo/ Park City Police Department)
Colleen Kelly, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP
Banksy graffiti gets vandalized in Sundance town
- Article by: MICHELLE RINDELS
- Associated Press
- January 4, 2014 - 3:49 PM
Two Utah paintings by the mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy were the targets of vandalism on New Year's Eve, possibly ruining one of the works in the town that hosts the Sundance Film Festival.
Brown spray paint Thursday covered a Park City mural that depicted a young boy with a pink halo and angel wings kneeling to pray behind a can of pink paint. The clear protective covering over the image had been shattered.
The second piece, of a cameraman stooped to shoot video footage of a flower, was not defaced, but the covering had been cracked.
The murals have become local points of pride since they appeared three years ago, and Park City police said they don't have a motive for the crime.
Surveillance footage captured a lone white male suspect tampering with the art about 2 a.m. Tuesday, and authorities expect to release images of the man Friday to aid their search, according to police Sgt. Jay Randall.
It's not clear whether the damaged mural can be restored, or how much the work was worth.
"Because of the fact that they weren't sanctioned, it could come down to a judge to determine the value of each of these," Randall said.
The unauthorized art first appeared in 2010, around the time Banksy was in Park City for the Sundance debut of his documentary, "Exit Through the Gift Shop."
The works initially prompted outrage by people who considered them unwelcome graffiti, according to Alison Butz, executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance. But the city has come to embrace the murals. The alliance features the work prominently on its website, and the images are among the most-photographed sites in town, Randall said.
The elusive Banksy, who refuses to reveal his full identity, is known for silhouetted figures and spray-painted messages that show up in unexpected places.
His works have been sold at auction for as much as $1.1 million apiece.
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