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'Six-figure' deal to keep a Banksy mural Spy Booth

A reported "six-figure" deal to keep a Banksy mural which targets the issue of Government surveillance at its current site is nearly complete, an art dealer has claimed.

Banksy mural 'Spy Booth' . Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Robin Barton, from London art gallery Bankrobber, said he was approached by the owner of the Grade II listed building, on which the Spy Booth artwork is painted, after he was "shocked at the level of vitriol" following reports that the piece may be sold and removed.

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

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  1. West Country (E)

Bristol's Mayor clarifies Banksy mural move

The Mayor of Bristol is hopeful that Banksy's Mobile Lovers piece will be on display at the city's museum over the Easter weekend.

In a statement, George Ferguson said:

“I’m delighted pleased that Dennis, who is a good man, has made a tough judgement call and has turned over the artwork to us, via the police.

'Mobile Lovers' has been taken to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Credit: ITV News West Country

"No-one’s the bad guy here; we simply need to buy time to establish where ownership lies, what Banksy’s intentions might be, if we were to get some signals, and how best we can move forward.

“I have established with our legal and museum services that we can move ahead on this basis so that, hopefully, it will be on show for people to enjoy at the City Museum and Art Gallery over the Easter weekend. It certainly would have been a cultural crime if this artwork had been lost to the city.

“I’m also asking if Banksy could provide a limited-edition print which could be sold in aid of the club.

"In the meantime we shall be working with a local publisher to produce postcards and prints for sale in aid of Broad Plain Boys' Club. And I have asked for a collection box at the museum for them. This hopefully will represent a win-win for everyone.”

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