Banksy artwork headed into storage not Ipswich
- Credit: PA
A Banksy mural that was understood to be coming to Ipswich is instead going into storage.
Season’s Greetings, which depicts a message about the impact of pollution on communities, has been removed on Tuesday from Wales and was believed to go on show at the University of Suffolk.
But the artwork’s owner, John Brandler, said it will now go into storage.
Mr Brandler, who owns Brandler Galleries in Brentwood, Essex, was looking forward to bringing it to "forward-thinking" UoS last month.
He said in January: "The university also said that there are a number of empty buildings near the waterfront and town centre and that it might even be possible to create an international street art gallery, with other Banksy pieces but a range of artists.
"That's the aim, that's the intention, and it'll be amazing if we can make it work. The university don't have the facilities to run the whole thing, but the people I'm talking to can see the benefit."
A spokeswoman for UoS said on Tuesday: "Unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement regarding the Banksy.
"The piece won’t be displayed at the University of Suffolk."
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Mr Brandler was "very sad" the situation had changed and said the mural and a street art museum in Ipswich would have the benefit of drawing 100,000 people a year to the town.
He said his Banksy on show in Bury St Edmunds last year drew crowds of 22,000 even during the pandemic.
The mural had appeared on the outside of a steelworker’s private garage in Taibach, Port Talbot, on December 19 2018 and has also sparked a row between an art dealer and a local council in South Wales.
Mr Brandler claims Neath Port Talbot Council sent him a letter last year asking him to “take it away”.
The local authority said it had been in discussions about keeping the piece in the town but Mr Brandler had demanded a yearly six-figure sum for the loan of the mural.
A council spokesperson said: “The council was informed it would have to meet the costs of its removal and installation into a new venue, to continue to cover the insurance and to pay a fee in the region of £100,000 per year for the loan of the work.”
The cost of relocation of the artwork was estimated to cost around £50,000, the council said.
“The future of the artwork is now in the hands of its owner, Mr Brandler,” it added.
Mr Brandler also claimed that “fanatics” and “vandals” have tried to destroy the piece and that moving it out of Wales would ensure it would be preserved for future generations.
The Banksy Preservation Society now aims to raise enough funds through selling exclusive Banksy Non-fungible token (NFT) Art drops to buy Season’s Greetings from Mr Brandler in order to ensure it will be on display to the public.
If the scheme is successful, those who buy the NFTs will be able to have a say over where the original is exhibited.