Banksy Spybooth Mural: Temporary Stop Notice Issued By Cheltenham Council

An immediate halt to the removal of the Cheltenham Banksy which appeared on a wall last April has been issued by the local council. The notice states that A temporary stop notice has been issued to halt work on the grade II listed property, where a Banksy artwork was painted. Local residents have been attempting to save “Spy Booth” mural after it was claimed it had been sold to a London art dealer and would be removed and taken to the capital.

Last week it looked “increasingly likely” the work would be removed after efforts by local businesses to save it stalled. However Cheltenham Borough Council has served a notice to stop work on the house on Fairview Road for 28 days.

Banksy admitted painting the work on a house three miles from the government communications GCHQ ‘spy’ headquarters.
On Tuesday, Robin Barton from the Bankrobber gallery in London, said “pressure is growing on the owners” to accept a seven-figure deal from an American.

Mark Nelson, the council’s built environment enforcement manager, said: “The temporary stop notice has been served because the council considers that works have taken place, without obtaining  consent. “It is worth clarifying that whilst the council is supportive of the public’s desire to keep the artwork on this property, the temporary stop notice has been issued to protect the integrity of this listed building.”

Banksy is a legendary graffiti artist. His work typically includes satirical social and political commentary, and ranges from murals to sculpture and installation, often playing with the contextual aspects of the work. The artist’s first solo show was held in 2002 at Los Angeles’ 33 1/3 Gallery, and in 2003 he was commissioned to design to cover of Blur’s ThinkTank. Today, Banksy’s work appears internationally; most notably, he painted nine sardonic images on the Palestinian side of the West Bank barrier. In Summer 2009, Banksy took over the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery with an exhibition attracting over 300,000 visitors and hour-long queues all the way down the road. Most recently the artist has experimented with film, achieving an Oscar nomination for his documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. Consistently controversial, Banksy is described by some as genius and others as a vandal. Regardless of whether he is inspiring admiration or provoking outrage, his name is one that is well-known around the world.

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