April 23, 2020 / 11:39 AM / a month ago

Banksy's 'Girl with a Pierced Eardrum' gains a coronavirus face mask

LONDON (Reuters) - Banksy’s “Girl with a Pierced Eardrum” has been updated for the coronavirus era with the addition of a blue surgical face mask.

The mural, a take on Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” but with a security alarm replacing the pearl, was painted on a harbourside building in the street artist’s home city of Bristol in west England in 2014.

It is not known whether Banksy, whose identity is a closely guarded secret, or somebody else attached the fabric face mask to the painted girl.

The newly adorned mural did not appear on Banksy’s Instagram page where he usually posts images of his work.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already inspired the artist.

He unveiled a scene of his trademark stencilled rats running amok in a bathroom rather than on the streets last week, reflecting official advice form the British government to stay at home.

“My wife hates it when I work from home,” he commented alongside the photos.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison

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