Has Banksy’s artwork ‘Spy Booth’ been stolen? The listed mural in Cheltenham has certainly been removed. The work of art which first appeared in 2014, three miles from government listening post GCHQ has vanished without a trace and the council who had placed the listing order on the piece are baffled. Last year Cheltenham Borough Council granted it retrospective planning permission.
All that can be seen is a pile of rubble on the ground below the brick wall which was once the stucco base the mural was painted on.
Social media posts on Saturday show the mural being cut down behind a tarpaulin, with the sound of machinery audible.Local people campaigned to save the artwork, on the corner of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road, after an apparent attempt to remove it for it to be sold in July 2014.
The mural was not in the best condition after being defaced with spray paint and vandalised several times. In January the Grade II-listed house was put for sale. A Gloucestershire Police spokeswoman said the force had had no reports of a crime being committed.
But has the Banksy artwork actually been destroyed? Bits of the rubble definitely have plaster on them, but there do not appear to be many pieces with paint on them. The BBC stated. A post on Twitter from a local resident suggests it is not the last we have seen of the mural.
“It’ll be back. Plans have been made,” the post says. Or perhaps that simply means it will be repainted one day?
Several attempts have made to contact the property owner, all have failed. The Banksy mural valued at £300,000 has been the target of thieves and was vandalised on a number of occasions since it first appeared.