Buy a Home with Banksy’s Iconic ‘Spy Booth’ Mural for Just $300,000
A real estate deal with a Banksy bonus.
Here’s your chance to buy a Banksy on the cheap: For £210,000 (about $306,000), you can become the proud owner of a house in Cheltenham, England, and, as a considerable bonus, the guerrilla artist’s iconic Spy Booth mural, reports ITV News.
The Edward Snowden-inspired work, painted on either side of a telephone booth, depicts three trench coat-clad government agents conducting covert surveillance. The UK’s intelligence agency, the GCHQ, has its headquarters nearby.
The Spy Booth saga has taken many twists and turns since it first appeared without warning in April of 2014. In June, the anonymous British street artist officially confirmed that he had created the piece. Within weeks, reports surfaced that the landlord had sold the mural, and that it would soon be removed from the property. (Homeowner David Possee later denied the allegations, claiming that the mural had “caused me significant financial problems” and was preventing him from conducting necessary repairs to the property.)
Locals rallied to keep politically-charged work right where it was, and the local borough council stepped in to block its removal, on the grounds that the home is a Grade II listed house, protected under British heritage legislation. There were even claims that the wall upon which Spy Booth is painted technically belongs to the government.
Then, vandals struck, defacing the mural not once but twice, and puncturing sizable holes in the wall. The second vandalism act came just hours after a local businessman agreed to buy the home in order to save the mural for the community. (The mural has since been restored.)
This past February, the local government granted Spy Booth listed protection status, retroactively giving Banksy planning permission to create the work on the building.
Now, the real estate agent’s sale listing is advertising “a rare opportunity to acquire a Grade II listed, Victorian, three bedroom end terrace property with a genuine ‘Banksy’ on the gable wall.” Buyer beware, however, as the house will need a “comprehensive schedule of refurbishment.”
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