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Banksy paintings vandalised in Sundance Film Festival town

Two artworks by the graffiti artist were tampered with in Utah

Two murals by the elusive graffiti artist Banksy were vandalised on New Year’s Eve in the US town that hosts the Sundance Film Festival, with one now possibly beyond restoration.

An artwork of a young boy with angel wings and a pink halo praying in front of a can of pink paint was found defaced in Park City. The transparent protective shield was smashed and brown paint had been sprayed over the mural.

The second painting of a cameraman shooting a video of a flower had its clear covering broken but was otherwise left undamaged.

The motive for the crime remains unclear, but police are looking for a white male wearing a baseball cap who was captured vandalising the artwork on CCTV at around 2am on Tuesday, Al Jazeera reports.

A pedestrian points at one of Banksy's artworks in Park City in Utah

How much the artworks are worth financially is unknown but Banksy paintings - technically illegal 'vandalism' themselves - have sold for more than $1 million at auction in the past.

Images of the suspect are expected to be released later on Friday, according to police sergeant Jay Randall of the Park City Police Department.

 “Because of the fact that they weren’t sanctioned, it could come down to a judge to determine the value of each of these,” he said.

Banksy is thought to have painted the unauthorised murals three years ago while debuting his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop at Sundance.

People were angered by the graffiti at first but now consider them a source of local pride, according to the Historic Park City Alliance who features the work on their website.