Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Banksy Spy Booth art in bid for listed status

Banksy's Spy Booth artwork in Cheltenham Image copyright PA
Image caption The 'Spy Booth' artwork on the Hewlett Road house attracted hordes of visitors when it appeared in April

A Banksy mural on the wall of a Cheltenham house could be listed under a bid being submitted to the council.

The "Spy Booth" artwork, which depicts three figures "snooping" on a telephone box, appeared in Hewlett Road in April.

Hekmat Kaveh, who wants to buy it, has applied for the work, satellite dish and phone booth to be included in the property's Grade II* listed status.

He said: "It's a way of securing it and making it a criminal offence to remove without listed building consent."

The piece appeared five months ago and is about three miles from government listening post GCHQ.

Since then campaigners have been fighting to keep the artwork in place on the corner of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road.

Dish dilemma

"The application includes the phone booth and the working satellite dish to make sure these two things are not removed without listed building consent," said Mr Kaveh, who is hoping to buy the house and turn it into a "Spy Museum".

"But you can't put a working satellite dish on a listed building, so to get around the council's rules I've said we will disconnect it."

If the application is approved, it would mean any unauthorised work affecting the listed mural would be a criminal offence.

In June, the owners of the house claimed the artwork had been sold and workmen arrived to remove it.

But Cheltenham Borough Council issued a temporary stop notice preventing further removal work from taking place on the Grade II* listed building.

A spokesman for the council said: "As yet, we haven't received an application for listed building consent for the Cheltenham Banksy but we will be happy to discuss details if and when this is received."

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