Banksy’s Spy Booth Headed to Auction Block

Banksy, Spy Booth. Photo: Jules Annan/Barcroft Media

Residents of Cheltenham living near the house where a Banksy mural of spies appearing to listen in on an adjacent phone booth appeared in April are worried that the piece will soon be gone, the BBC reports.

The large-scale work, which the artist cheekily installed some three miles from GCHQ, the headquarters of the British intelligence and spy activities, is now encased in plywood scaffolding, and those same neighbors who stayed out guarding the work overnight to prevent any vandalism fear the worst.

John Joyce, of Q Scaffolding, the company that erected the plywood structure around the mural, told the BBC that the landlord of the building had sold the piece for an undisclosed price, and that it will be removed on Friday June 27. He claimed the work is destined for the auction block, and could bring in as much as £1 million ($1.7 million).

“We are not doing anything illegal,” Joyce added. “We are preserving Banksy’s legacy.”

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