Cheltenham's Banksy wins backing for listed status

Cheltenham Borough Council has voted to apply for listed status for the graffiti, Spybooth, by Bristol urban artist Banksy. It will not cover the phone box at the centre of the installation.

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Council investigates work on Banksy house

The future of the Cheltenham Banksy is still in the balance Credit: ITV News West Country

A man has been questioned by council officers investigating a 'potential criminal offence' at the house where street artist Banksy painted his 'Spy Booth' mural close to GCHQ in Cheltenham, Glos.

Officials entered the house with a warrant and said they found that 'substantial work' had been carried out inside the listed building.

Roger Wilson, the business partner of the property's owner David Possee, was formally interviewed about the work that has taken place, possibly in breach of planning and listed building regulations,

The 'Spy Booth' artwork appeared in April, leading to a financial battle over whether it stays or goes - and also becoming a target of vandalism and an apparent attempted theft by a man who drilled four holes in the wall around it earlier this week.

Fresh attack on Banksy's Cheltenham 'Spy Booth'

It's thought someone was trying to remove the Banksy murals. Credit: ITV West

A Banksy painted on the side of a house in Cheltenham has been vandalised for the second time in a fortnight. 'Spy Booth' appeared in April and, following a campaign by residents to keep it in the town, a local businessman stepped in to buy it.

Earlier this month it was daubed with silver spray paint, which locals were hopeful would be removed easily.

But in a fresh attack at the weekend, the protective hoarding was opened up and drill holes were made around the artwork. One resident told ITV News it was in an effort to remove the murals, possibly from the inside of the house. A local businessman who was planning to buy the piece, is also angry.

"This seems to have been an obvious attempt to prepare to remove the Banksy and I'm appalled.

We are in the process of negotiating and someone has been trying to remove it. You can see by looking through the hole from the outside, that the inner wall has been taken off and there seems to be only the 4 inch brick wall left. I'm appalled."

– Hekmat Kaveh, businessman

There are now fears that it will have to be taken away, to keep it safe.

The piece is thought to be worth so much money, that it has tripled the value of the property onto which it was painted. That value looks set to drop again, if the Banksy has to be removed in order to preserve it.

Drill holes showing the extent of the new damage Credit: ITV West

Banksy covered up ready to be restored

Banksy artwork was defaced by vandals Credit: ITV News West Country

Work continues on a piece of Banksy artwork in Cheltenham that was defaced by with silver paint. It comes just days after a local businessman paid to keep the picture in place following a long dispute between the community and a private collector. The art has been covered up to prevent further damage and professionals will be trying to restore the work over the weekend.

  1. National

Banksy 'Spybooth' mural defaced in Cheltenham

A Banksy artwork in Cheltenham has been defaced by vandals, shortly after a deal was reached to stop it being sold to an American investor.

The mural, named 'Spybooth', was daubed with silver paint, and locals have since apparently tried to restore it.

Millionaire Hekmat Kaveh, who bought the piece for a reported six-figure sum a few days ago, told South West News Service that he "would much rather get the professionals onto it" and is "confident that it will come off".


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