A much publicised work by Banksy in the spa town of Cheltenham is set to remain in place following a deal between a local philanthropist and the owners of the house in Hewlettt Road where it first appeared in April.
The ‘Cheltenham Banksy’ depicts three trench-coated spies apparently listening in to a phone box and satellite dish alongside the house. The work is thought to make reference to the activities of GCHQ, which is located just outside the Gloucestershire town. Banksy confirmed the piece as his work via his website on 9 June.
Later that month workmen from Q Scaffolding, which is known to have been involved in the removal and sale of Banksy works from other sites, began covering the work with hoardings. On 2 July Cheltenham Borough Council issued a temporary stop notice to halt work to remove the artwork from the house for 28 days. On 17 July the hoardings were taken down.
Since then the Save the Banksy Group, led by businesswoman Angela de Souza, has been appealing for funds to preserve the work in its original location. Yesterday evening, during a press conference alongside the work, she announced that a local philanthropist and property developer, Hekmat Kaveh, has offered a significant but undisclosed sum to retain the artwork in Cheltenham and in its original location.
Kaveh said: “Having spoken to many people over the last few weeks, and reading many comments on social media, I have concluded that there is a very strong feeling about this work. It seems that the people of Cheltenham are generally is in support of not only retaining the Banksy in the town, but in its current location, where it was clearly intended to be.”
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