Banksy’s Spy Booth Mural Punctured

Banksy mural in Cheltenham.
Banksy Spy Booth Photo: lamentables/Flickr.
Banksy, Spy Booth (2014), now vandalized. Photo: via Western Daily Press.

Banksy, Spy Booth (2014), now vandalized.
Photo: via Western Daily Press.

Removing grey spray paint is one thing, but it will be hard for the residents of Cheltenham to get those four gaping holes out of Banksy‘s Spy Booth mural. Though a transparent plastic cover had been put over the mural—which shows three men dressed like stereotypical spies and wielding phone-tapping devices painted on either side of a phone booth—it was removed, and four large holes were punched in the wall at the four corners of painting, the BBC reports.

“There are four very large holes on the four corners, which I’ve measured, and one is 10 centimeters,” or nearly four inches, according to Hekmat Kaveh, the local businessman who bought the building the mural was painted on in an attempt to keep it in Cheltenham. “It looks as if it was being prepared to be taken away, despite the fact I’m in the process of purchasing it to make sure it stays…There’s been damage to the plaster and the painting…It’s been reported to the police and the council. It’s on a listed building, it’s criminal damage.”

Banksy mural in Cheltenham.

Banksy mural in Cheltenham.
Photo: lamentables/Flickr.

The mural appeared in April some three miles from the UK government’s GCHQ surveillance facility. Kaveh supported a plan to make the mural the centerpiece of a GCHQ museum, to be housed inside the building where Banksy painted his latest pop-political public artwork.

“Unknown offenders removed a piece of wood surrounding the Banksy artwork on the side of the building and a number of holes were drilled around the image,” Gloucestershire Police said in a statement. “The artwork was not damaged and there is no sign of forced entry to the property.”


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