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Banksy by Andy
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Banksy Mural Showing Government agents spying on a telephone box.

 It is thought that this is the work of the controversial street artist Banksy, a comment repeated on many websites is “this piece has all the Banksy characteristics in narrative, style and execution” I think its brilliant. This latest work has brought visitors into Cheltenham from all over the country and even from abroad like Canada, France, Australia. So it is good for local businesses in the area, so after one jealous idiot painted over the heads of the three spy figures, local residents and customers from a nearby pub removed the white emulsion paint saving the artwork. They are tying to protect the mural from being defaced again, by raising enough money to pay a local company to cover the art with Perspex.

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Well the controversy over Banksy spy on the wall artwork continues. The property is a listed building in a conservation area, even more so now I think. Cheltenham Borough Council was worried about Perspex trapping water and creating damp inside the house. So now to protect the artwork from being damaged by vandals two pro-graffiti artists have covered the artwork with a coat of anti-graffiti preservative paint. And a local company donated a two-camera CCTV system pointing across the street from the pub, so now the spies are being spied on. I just hope after all the trouble people have gone to protect this masterpiece it left alone for people to enjoy for many years to come.

Latest: A scaffolding was erected around street art with wooden panels, leaving a space in the centre for the public telephone box. The home owner was paid and the art was hoping to raise up to 1 million at auction. The police had to increase patrols in the area because of increased tensions from the local residents who do not want the street art removed. Cheltenham Borough Council issued a stop notice preventing any further removal work from the Grade II* listed building especially as somebody already tried to remove the artwork brick by brick from inside the house, it looks like only the outer wall remains. The screens around the Spybooth was removed and a potential buyer applied for the work, satellite dish and phone booth to be included in the property's Grade II* listed status. Sadly the latest pictures I have seen on the web show the Banksy Spybooth completely covered in graffiti. The owner of the house is hoping to restore it but could cost unto 26,000. At least I have my pictures.

Cheltenham is also the home to the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) So it thought that this artwork showing intelligence operatives spying on a telephone box holding surveillance equipment, comes in the wake of the storm over surveillance by GCHQ and the NSA revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Location and Post Code: Side of a house on the corner of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road. Post Code GL52 6AJ.

Andy Newman Images©