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.'

Sport
Premier League Live
footballLIVE Follow all the Premier League action as it happens
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + echSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
peopleTV star had been reported missing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone