The family who own the house in Bristol on which a Banksy artwork appeared have covered the graffiti after it was vandalised.
A picture shared on social media on Saturday showed “BCC WANKERS” scrawled across the artwork, which shows a young girl firing a slingshot.
As a result, temporary fencing has been added and CCTV will be installed to protect it.
The elusive artist had confirmed he was behind the piece by posting two images of it on his official Instagram account and website in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.
Kelly Woodruff, the daughter of Edwin Simons, who owns the rented home on which the artwork appeared, had already expressed concern at the potential for Storm Dennis to damage it.
On behalf of the family Ms Woodruff said: “Due to the mindless vandalism to the artwork, the family have taken the very difficult decision to cover the artwork to try to protect it.
“The family feels a strong responsibility to ensure the art is available for the enjoyment of the people of Bristol and the general public.
“All measures are temporary and we ask that the public are patient while we work out the best way to clean the damage, restore and protect it for the future so everyone can enjoy Banksy’s work.
“We hope everyone will understand that these steps are necessary.”
One local resident who spotted the vandalism told the PA news agency: “It’s a real shame, but it was always going to happen, unfortunately.”