St Leonards' Banksy allowed to stay

Art fans can breathe a sigh of relief - Hastings Borough Council has agreed to let the Banksy stay.

The World famous street artist caused a stir by painting a mural on St Leonards seafront earlier this week.

The piece, which shows a girl building sandcastles with the word Tesco on them, appeared earlier this week near Marine Court, on the beach below St Leonards Parish Church.

But, as news of the piece spread across the internet, there were real concerns that the council would paint over it.

In fact, it was only a call from the Observer which stopped the authority's anti-graffiti team in its tracks.

Close friend of Banksy – and renowned artist in his own right – Ben Eine, urged the council to leave it where it is. He told the Observer: "If the council leaders decide to get rid of it they are idiots.

"Graffiti and street art are not the same thing. Graffiti detracts from the environment, street art adds to it."

Luckily for Eine and the town's many art fans – who are gearing up for the Coastal Currents festival – Banksy had one high ranking fan on the local authority.

Councillor Jay Kramer, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: "I think this is great.

"I know that we have a zero tolerance policy on graffiti, and that is absolutely right. However, we have to be flexible so on this occasion I have agreed that Banksy can be an exception to our rule and can stay."