Couple Paid £200K To Purposefully Remove Banksy Mural Painted On Their Home
By Nicole Rodrigues, 25 May 2023
Several art enthusiasts or avid collectors might be eager to get their hands on a Banksy. Unfortunately, some have tried to steal his work from off the streets and have gotten into much trouble for doing so. This instinct cannot be said for one couple in the UK, who has actively tried to get rid of a mural he had done on the side of their house.
In August 2021, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, residents Garry and Gokean Coutts woke up to find a 20-foot-tall spray-painted work of a seagull on the side of their home. The mural was attributed back to Banksy after he released a three-minute video called A Great British Spraycation, where he showed the seagull among other pieces he had dotted around England for the summer.
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In an interview with The Daily Mail, the homeowners said that it had initially been “incredible,” but as time passed, they found that being responsible for such a piece would cost them more than they bargained for.
The city council told the couple they must fork out £40,000 (US$49,500) to sustain the work. In addition to high maintenance fees, they also had to keep thieves at bay. In the same report, Garry Coutts said they had to hire a night guard after part of it was stolen, and someone tried to sell it on Facebook. On a separate occassion, vandals were caught just before they were about to cover the stencil in white paint.
Eventually, it was removed sometime in April this year after the council approved road closure to take it off the house. The operation required 12 layers of resin and five tons of steel before the work could be removed in one piece. The Times posits that it cost the Coutts £200,000 (US$247,000). However, it is estimated that the wall would be worth millions.
The Coutts hope to sell the wall and replace the mural with a replica, as the seagull has done much for the area and has drawn tourists to Lowestoft to see it.
[via Robb Report and The Times, cover image via Banksy]
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