Banksy ash mural moved from garage to gallery in Welsh town

  • World
  • Thursday, 30 May 2019

FILE PHOTO: People view new work by the artist Banksy that appeared during the week on the walls of a garage in Port Talbot, Britain December 22, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

LONDON (Reuters) - A Banksy mural depicting a child enjoying what appears to be snow but is actually ash from a nearby burning bin has been moved from a garage to a planned street art museum in the Welsh town of Port Talbot.

British gallery owner John Brandler bought "Season's Greetings" by the elusive street artist for a "six-figure sum" in January after it appeared on a concrete block garage wall in Wales before Christmas.

On one side, it shows a young boy wrapped up in winter clothes, his arms stretched out trying to catch what looks like snowflakes with his tongue. But when viewed from around the corner, the mural shows that the falling "snow" is actually ash from a fire in an industrial bin.

Television footage showed a crane lifting the wrapped-up work onto a lorry which then slowly took it to a building in Port Talbot, which has one of the world's biggest steelworks. Brandler says he aims to turn the venue into an international museum for street art.

"I saw the video of them moving a replica of the wall, once I saw that I relaxed," Brandler told BBC Television before the mural was moved.

Videos shared on social media showed the mural safely arriving at the building and being unveiled. A smiling Brandler gave the thumbs up sign before declaring: "We've done it, it's good".

He could be seen and heard telling Ian Lewis, the owner of the garage where the work first appeared: "Your garage is in town".

Brandler previously told Reuters he was lending the Banksy mural to Port Talbot "for a minimum of two or three years", with the aim of using it "as a centre for an art hub that would bring in internationally famous artists" to the town.

Banksy, who keeps his identity secret, is known for his politically charged street art that has adorned walls in various cities.

(Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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