Upfest murals on Bristol street vandalised

A mural on North Street vandalised with the words 'Black Metal Lives'.

Street art murals painted as part of a well-known Bristol festival have been vandalised.

Twelve wall paintings in North Street, Bedminster, have been targeted in recent days, with some left beyond repair.

Credit: ITV News

Many of them were drawn by accredited artists as part of Upfest, an annual event in the area celebrating street art and graffiti.

Artist Carla James said: "I think it's important to be strong and keep positive about what's happened.

"A lot of positive outcomes have come from it, from the local community. Everyone has been so supportive. It's not going to stop us-we gotta keep going."

This year's festival was postponed due to Covid, but organisers are running a project in which 75 walls are being painted in 75 days.

Houses on North Street painted as part of Upfest this year.

The vandalism has appeared on some of the new murals as well as older pieces of work.

It is currently under investigation by Avon and Somerset Police, who have released pictures of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incidents.

Ch Insp Olly Cosgrove said: “Officers with our neighbourhood team are carrying out an investigation into this mindless and selfish vandalism, which has damaged artwork intended to inspire and generate positivity in the south Bristol area.“We’ve spoken with the Upfest team and affected businesses to ensure each crime is recorded and evidence is gathered. All the incidents are believed to have taken place between 1 am, and 6 am on Monday 19 July.

This is the man police want to speak to in connection with the vandalism of several pieces of artwork. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Festival Director Stephen Hayles added: ‘It is the vicious nature of the wording painted with a brush on the artworks and billboards which is extremely concerning for myself and my team, as this is now the second occasion. We just want it to stop and not escalate further.”If you know the man pictured or have information or further footage which could help the police investigation, you can contact 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5221162785.