Banksy 'Spy Booth' artwork destroyed in Gloucestershire

The artwork had been granted retrospective planning permission by the council, meaning it cannot be destroyed without the approval of councillors

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 22 August 2016 11:01
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Banksy 'Spy Booth' artwork removed from house in Cheltenham

Grafitti artists inherently work in a transient environment, yet there's always a hope that the work will overcome its limitations and survive.

Sadly, Banksy fans have had to say goodbye to one of the artist's most famous artworks; with The Evening Standard reporting it was destroyed overnight, though its location in Gloucestershire's Cheltenham had seen it granted retrospective planning permission by the council, meaning it cannot be destroyed without the approval of councillors.

"Spy Booth" portrayed three government agents hanging over a phone booth, eagerly tapping into any conversations that may happen within; springing up in April 2014, several kilometres away from GCHQ where the UK's surveillance network is based, the piece highlighted the issues of government surveillance in the light of Edward Snowden's claims that GCHQ fed large amounts of data to the NSA.

However, photographs have emerged showing the mural broken in pieces on the ground, having been jackhammered from the wall; with the house on which the mural appeared having been put up for sale in January, with work commencing to repair plasterwork on the house. A video on Twitter showed the site on Saturday, 20 August, covered in tarpaulin with the sound of drilling emanating.


Cheltenham Borough Council leader Steve Jordan stated on the matter: "It (the artwork) is protected by a listing. I will have a look at what the situation is, certainly."

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