In brief

Did Banksy Briefly Open a Twitter Account Today?

Banksy, Spy Booth (2014) Cheltenham, UK Photo via Street Art News

Banksy, Spy Booth (2014) Cheltenham, UK.
Photo via Street Art News.

Someone claiming to be Banksy opened a Twitter account on the morning of July 8 under the handle @CheltersBanksy (which has been deactivated) in order to speak out about the treatment of his recent work, Spy Booth, in Cheltenham (see artnet News report).

According to Gloucester Citizen, the street artist is incensed by proposed plans from the owners of the site to remove and sell the piece, which was confirmed to be a Banksy last month. Using the now-defunct profile and the hashtag #CheltenhamBanksy, someone claiming to be the elusive street artist expressed his or her disgust with the lack of "community mindedness" on the part of the owners of the structure. While he or she initially warned he "would not be here long," the person also mentioned the possibility of commenting further tomorrow, although the account has since been shut down.

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The anonymous user also stated that if he or she had known more about the values of the building's owner, Banksy would have chosen another location to bestow his artistic gift upon. The user then went on to say that he or she does not mind people making money off the work, as long as it goes back to the community, as has previously been the case in his hometown of Bristol (see artnet News report). It's worth noting, however, that since talk of removing and selling the piece began a few weeks ago, Cheltenham community members have organized to prevent the sale.

So, is this actually the voice of the secretive Banksy, or just an impassioned fan? And if it really is him, what about this piece and this sale in particular inspired him to come forward? People remove and sell his work all the time, but he typically keeps quiet. We hope the mysterious @CheltersBanksy account returns in the future with some more information, and possibly an identify confirmation for good measure.