Banksy stencil soars past Hay Wain as UK's favourite work of art

By Maev Kennedy

Bristol street artist’s Girl with Balloon, originally stencil on side of bridge, beats Constable idyll in poll of nation’s best-loved art

An image of a little girl sadly watching her heart-shaped red balloon drift away, originally a stencil on a grimy wall by Banksy, has toppled Constable’s Hay Wain as the nation’s best-loved work of art.

The most famous version of Girl with Balloon, by the Bristol-born street artist, appeared on the side of a bridge on the South Bank in London in 2002. It is now ubiquitous, available as prints, greeting cards and mugs, as an instant street artist kit in a precut stencil marketed by a firm in the US, and as a recent addition to the impressive collection of tattoos almost covering the skin of pop star Justin Bieber.

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Source: Banksy stencil soars past Hay Wain as UK’s favourite work of art


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