1. ITV Report

Banksy confirms Port Talbot artwork is his creation

The artwork appeared on a garage wall overnight Credit: ITV News

A piece of graffiti art that appeared on a wall in Port Talbot, has been confirmed as a genuine Banksy.

The work by the anonymous world-famous street artist was discovered in the Taibach area of town last night and appears to comment on the town's industrial heritage.

The image shows a child with what appears to be snow falling on him but the other side reveals a fire in a skip emitting ash.

Banksy confirmed the news with a video on his Instagram account, with the caption "Seasons Greetings".

Soundtracked by the children's song Little Snowflake, the camera focuses on the painting, before ascending to show the nearby steelworks which loom over the town.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Banksy said:

Just how tight is Bxxxx?

What is believed to be the graffiti artists first foray into Wales has coincided with the scrapping of the severn bridge toll. Was the £5 charge all that was stopping him? Will we see lots more in the future?

– Banksy spokesperson
The artwork shows a young boy looking up at what appears to be snow Credit: ITV News
But on the other side of the wall is a fire with ash billowing from the flames Credit: ITV News

The garage owner Ian Lewis, 55, who is a steelworker at the nearby Tata steelworks, told ITV News he hoped it was genuine when he discovered it had appeared on his wall.

At first I didn't really think much of it. I didn't even know if it was my garage. But then I had a look and saw it was. I thought it was good but I didn't think it was a Banksy.

– Ian Lewis, garage owner

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Mr Lewis said he thought Port Talbot had been chosen for the artwork due to headlines over air pollution. In May, the World Health Organisation had to apologise after it admitted figures identifying Port Talbot as the most polluted town in the UK were wrong.

Mr Lewis said he had "no idea" what his plans were with regards to the artwork but the local council have already erected fencing around the artwork to protect it.

His partner Julia Smith told ITV News they are feeling "very overwhelmed" but are enjoying the people who have been turning up to view the artwork.

All the children have come from the local school which is just lovely.

We're not quite sure what happens next. I do know a man from Neath Port Talbot council has spoken to Bristol Council to get some advice on how to preserve it.

Some people are already trying to say how much it will be worth but we are just enjoying the visitors coming to see it. My sister just drove through the town and she said it was chock-a-block.

– Julia Lewis, Partner of garage owner Ian Lewis
People from all over have been visiting since last night and having photographs with the artwork

It's amazing, an incredible addition to Port Talbot.

Everything about it is political messaging, the way the boy has been drawn, the positioning near the steelworks, the fact it was done just after the (Severn Bridge) tolls went down.

People have already taken sledgehammers to it and tried to throw paint on it.

It will bring visitors and trade and tourism to the county so it really does need to be protected.

– Rachel Honey-Jones, Visitor

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