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  1. ITV Report

'Banksy' spying artwork appears in Cheltenham close to GCHQ

The graffiti depicts figures in sunglasses and trench coats listening in on calls. Photo: SWNS

A Banksy-esque mural showing shady agents eavesdropping on a telephone box has appeared on a street in Cheltenham, close to the Government's surveillance headquarters.

Locals waking on Sunday morning to find the street art on their doorstep soon began tweeting photos of the work and proclaiming it a Banksy, although the elusive artist has not yet claimed or denied that the graffiti is his:

The piece appeared three miles from GCHQ, home of the Government's spying network, leading many to speculate that the artist is taking a swipe at the UK's intelligence-gathering methods.

In a statement, GCHQ said:

This is the first time we have ever been asked to comment on art. Although we are not qualified critics, we are as intrigued as the rest of the residents of Cheltenham about the appearance of the mysterious artwork.

For those who are interested, our website gives a glimpse of what modern day intelligence operatives are really like, although some may be disappointed by the lack of trench coats and dark glasses.

The artwork appeared about three miles from the UK's spying headquarters. Credit: PA