Sunday 25 June 2017

Banksy spies a good price to sell his secret agents artwork

The Banksy mural targeting the issue of Government surveillance that has been vandalised with silver and red paint
The Banksy mural targeting the issue of Government surveillance that has been vandalised with silver and red paint

A house featuring a Banksy artwork targeting the issue of Government surveillance has gone on the market for £210,000.

Spy Booth shows three 1950s-style agents, wearing brown trench coats and trilby hats, using devices to tap into conversations at a telephone box.

It appeared overnight on the wall of a house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, just a few miles from GCHQ where the UK's surveillance network is based.

The mural has been repeatedly subjected to vandalism since being painted on the period end-of-terrace home in April 2014.

Bristol graffiti artist Banksy confirmed responsibility for the piece, situated on the corner of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road, through a Q&A on his website.

Estate agents Peter Ball & Co describe the sale as "a rare opportunity to acquire a Grade II listed, Victorian, three-bedroom end-terrace property with a genuine 'Banksy' on the gable wall.

"The property is being offered for sale with no onward chain and requires a comprehensive schedule of refurbishment offering accommodation comprising, entrance hall with doors to the living room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room and stairs up to the first floor.

"On the first floor are three bedrooms and a bathroom which is fitted with a coloured suite. To the rear of the property is a patio courtyard."

Spy Booth was granted retrospective planning permission in February last year, meaning it cannot be removed without the approval of councillors.

David Possee, the owner of the house, told Cheltenham Borough Council at the time that the mural had caused him "significant financial problems".

Speaking after the piece appeared in Cheltenham, a spokesman for GCHQ said there was a "lack of trench coats and dark glasses" in modern day intelligence.

In February 2014, Banksy's life-size black and white graffiti work Kissing Coppers sold to an anonymous buyer in Miami for £345,000.

The piece was removed from the wall of the Prince Albert pub near Brighton City Centre, where it was painted in 2004, and sold at auction in the US.

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