A report by Clemmie Moodie for The Daily Mail.
With his guerrilla style of painting, street artist Banksy is not to everyone’s liking.
Which perhaps goes some way to explaining just how £4 million pounds-worth of the painter’s work was accidentally destroyed.
Owners of Tom Cruise and Sharon Stone’s favourite Caribbean hotel were distraught after builders called in to do maintenance work on the five-star hotel mistakenly painted over five original stencils.
Mistaking the black and white drawings, featuring three of his signature rats, for graffiti, tradesmen plastered on two coats of thick, white paint over the three-bedroom villa of the luxury Geejam hotel in Jamaica.
A hotel source said: ‘Banksy is friends with the owners, and has stayed a few times over the years.
‘On an early visit in 2006 he left 11 stencils as a gift, and these proved a huge hit with guests.
‘However, over the summer break builders were called in to spruce up the place and didn’t recognise Banksy’s scrawl. They thought a rogue visitor had debased the walls, and promptly painted over the ones on the outside of the building.
‘When the mistake was realised, they were mortified – as were the owners.’
Another company was called in to survey the damage, and are understood to have suggested a paint-stripping service at a cost of around £120,000. However, there are no guarantees that the Banksys will be restored to their original glory.
The exclusive, seven roomed designer boutique, situated within the island’s Port Antonio region, is a favourite with stars including Tom Cruise, Sharon Stone, Katy Perry and Harry Styles.
Boasting a state of the art recording studio, Amy Winehouse, the Rolling Stones and, Bjork and Gwen Stefani have all made albums here.
British music industry executive, Jon Baker, 56, who studied at the Chelsea School of Art in London where he is believed to have first met Banksy, set-up the hotel (pictured) in 2006
British music industry executive, Jon Baker, 56, who studied at the Chelsea School of Art in London where he is believed to have first met Banksy, set-up the hotel in 2006.
The controversial street artist, meanwhile, started his graffiti career in 1990 and soon became famed for his satirical and subversive epigrams.
After starting out in Bristol, he has since risen to international acclaim – but also insisted on remaining his anonymity.
Previous headline-making stunts include leaving an inflatable doll dressed as a Guantanamo Bay prisoner in Disneyland, and hanging a grinning version of the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre.
In 2008, an undercover Mail on Sunday investigation claimed the artist was Robin Gunningham, a former public schoolboy.