Banksy new street piece on Marsh Lane, Bristol

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The elusive artist confirmed the mural as his on his Instagram account on February 14.

The unexpected art piece quickly became an attraction, as many believed the work to be of Banksy, the anonymous artist known for his often political street art.

Waking up in the morning, residents found on the wall of one of the houses drawing in which the girl shoots a slingshot, and above right shows a bright red "Bang".

Sometime during the night vandals have scrawled huge graffiti right over the top of the precious painting and the protective plastic screen placed over it has been vandalised.

Explicit graffiti has been sprayed in huge red letters across the art, which is seen on the side of a house, in the Barton Hill area, Bristol.

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"We've been down here all day and it's just been a complete buzz of excitement", she told the PA news agency.

One person said: "I think it's lovely, it's got ivory and roses so you've got a mixture for Valentines Day".

Residents in the Barton Hill area named the "incredible and beautiful" work as the Valentine's Banksy.

Kelly Woodruff, daughter of the owner, says the family felt a "strong responsibility" to ensure the artwork could be enjoyed by the public.

She said that her family is "devastated" and is working to protect the artwork from further harm.

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