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Is it a Banksy? Cheltenham mum of five wakes up to find artwork on the side of her home

By EchoLisa  |  Posted: April 14, 2014

By Lisa Jones

  • Is It a Banksy2

  • Is it a Banksy

  • Is It a Banksy3

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It looks as though celebrated street artist Banksy may have been in Cheltenham.

Images of wall art resembling the Bristol artist’s style have appeared on the side of a house on the corner of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road overnight.

They depict 1950s-style spies, clad in trench coat and trilby hats, carrying listening devices.

They provide a perfect foil to Cheltenham’s role as the home for listening post, GCHQ.

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The painted figures, on a wall surrounding a BT telephone box appeared overnight on Sunday morning.

Karen Smith, who lives in the property, opposite the Fairview pub said she heard noises through the night but thought nothing of it, as Fairview is a busy area.

The mum of five, 48, said she got up at around 7.30am on Sunday morning to find a van parked at the side and some men packing away this white tarpaulin.

“They were taking it down and putting it into the back of the van.

“I thought it might be something to do with the police, like when a crime happens.

“I saw these people looking and then saw the graffiti.

“I heard people talking all night and couldn’t sleep, but I didn’t look out, as you get used to people out there all the time.

“At one point there was a young girl and two lads out there.

“It’s pretty good. It livens the street up a bit.

“There have been a lot of people about today looking at it.

“My daughter, Sophie thinks it’s Banksy, but I’ve been speaking to different people outside and some agree, some don’t.”

Karen’s daughter Sadie, 22, a cleaner, from Hatherley, said: “I’m happy about it. “Everybody in Cheltenham is talking about it and it’s on the side of my mum’s house.

“I saw pictures on Facebook and recognised the side of the house, so I got in touch with my sister, Charlie and she confirmed it was ours.

“I’m buzzing.”

The news of the new artwork has gone viral across the internet, prompting admiring comments from fans.

Website streetartnews said:"At the break of dawn, the British street artist showed up with a maintenance van and covered all the sides with tarpaulin to execute his new stencil.

"While not officially confirmed by his website, this piece has all the Banksy characteristics in narrative, style and execution."

Cheltenham street artist, Dice67, who organises Free Art Friday, said the work was definitely that of Banksy, who appeared to have been unmasked as Robin Gunningham.

Images of the Cheltenham spies graffiti is certainly on Mr Gunnigham’s Facebook page and was posted yesterday (SUN).

Dice67 said: “It’s definitely Banksy. It’s all over his website and on his Facebook page.

“It’s brilliant. Graffiti is definitely all about location. That’s why he’s come to Cheltenham, to do something about GCHQ.

“People will travel to Cheltenham from all over the world to see this.”

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3 comments

  • tamsee13  |  April 19 2014, 9:42PM

    apparently its already been vandalised, which is sad

  • justbecause  |  April 14 2014, 9:57PM

    Absolutely marvellous! why not, had my pic bagged in the phone box! Brilliant, and I don't care if its real or not it is a bit of fun!

    |   3
  • Fazzer76sarah  |  April 14 2014, 7:26AM

    St.Pauls? Does this woman not realise that she lives in Fairview? Great artwork!

    |   4

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