Banksy's GCHQ mural: Cheltenham street art 'to go in London gallery' after homeowner sells it

Scaffolding firm enlisted with the job of removing the artwork says it will be gone by the weekend and will be the main piece in a London gallery on 4 July

A Banksy mural has been sold by the owners of the Grade II property it was painted on, the scaffolding company enlisted with the job has confirmed.

The spy-inspired graffiti creation popped up on a residential street in Cheltenham in April, depicting three trenchcoat-wearing spies ‘listening in’ to a public phone box – its location is just three miles from British intelligence agency GCHQ.

Yesterday, scaffolding was erected around the popular piece leading residents to fear the worst.

Though Q Scaffolding, the specialist firm recruited to take it down, had told anxious residents that they were just re-rendering the property walls, it has now been confirmed that the artwork is definitely being stripped away.

"It will go in an art gallery in London on 4 July," John Joyce, from Q Scaffolding, told The Independent.

Mr Joyce wouldn't confirm which gallery it will appear in, but said that the first part should be gone by tomorrow and the second part by the weekend.

He also advised that 24hr security will soon arrive at the site following advice from police. Numerous interested people had gone down to the location to see what the fuss was about, with Twitter users swapping theories and images of the plywood-metal structure.

 

Mr Joyce also confirmed that the re-rendering work will have to be done anyway "because the owner will get a fine of £5,000 if they don't."

Mike Redman, from Cheltenham Borough Council, had told the BBC that they "believe" the scaffolding had been erected over concerns "about the condition of the render".

"With the volumes of people passing by, it is important to make the area safe and we believe this is what the owner of the property has arranged," he said.

Guerrilla artist Banksy confirmed he was the creator two months after painting it, with WikiLeaks claiming that the far right crouching figure is that of Julian Assange.

Michael Tonge, who lives nearby, had been keeping a vigil beside the scaffolding and has kept his Twitter followers abreast with developments: “I'm stood out here at nearly midnight waiting for them to come and start removing it,” he said.

Q Scaffolding is the same company that removed Banksy’s No Ball Games piece from a wall in north London last summer.

Darren Power, a local, had told the Evening Standard: “I think the Banksy will be removed. Why would they get a scaffolding company up from London to do it?

“I still think it will end up in an art gallery sooner or later. It’ll be a shame if it does because everyone here loves it.”

One pub worker said that the constant stream of crowds coming to look at the mural had been good for business.

It appeared around the same time that the Pulitzer Prize was awarded to The Guardian and the Washington Post for their reporting on mass surveillance by GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) and the US' National Security Agency (NSA).

Today it was revealed that Banksy's 'Sirens of the Lambs' has been driven through Glastonbury as the iconic festival gets underway.

The truck, which shows cuddly farmyard animals poking their heads through air slots in the vehicle on their way to the slaughterhouse, was debuted in the Meat Packing District of New York last year.

As it bundled through the Glastonbury grounds in Somerset this lunchtime it was apparently being chased by 'angry farmers.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
football
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us