New owners of house with Banksy branded 'mean spirited'

New owners of house where Banksy painted his latest work ‘Aachoo!’ are branded ‘mean spirited’ after boarding it up so it can’t be seen

  • Artwork in Totterdown was today hidden from view by scaffolding boards
  • Latest mural had appeared in Banksy’s hometown of Bristol last December  
  • Owner was about to sell property and new family has reportedly moved in

The new owners of the house where Banksy left his latest artwork have been branded ‘mean spirited’ after boarding it up so it can’t be seen. 

The mural, entitled ‘Aachoo!’, appeared overnight in December on the side of a semi-detached property in Totterdown – on England’s steepest road. 

It depicts an elderly woman sneezing, creating the illusion that the force of the pensioner’s sneeze had knocked over houses built above it. 

However, Banksy’s latest artwork, in his hometown of Bristol, has now been hidden from view after large wooden scaffolding was constructed around the external wall. 

It is unclear why the boards were installed.

The ‘Aachoo!’ artwork caused a stir last year when it appeared on the external wall of a £300,000 property which was due to be sold.  

Despite the Banksy being valued at £5million, rumours that the owner had pulled out of the sale were quickly quashed. 

The mural, entitled ‘Aachoo!’, appeared overnight in December on the side of a semi-detached property in Totterdown – England’s steepest road. Pictured: The mural today

It depicts an elderly woman sneezing, creating the illusion that the force of the pensioner’s sneeze had knocked over houses built above the street art. Pictured: The artwork in December

Nick Makin – whose mother Aileen Martin had owned the home when the street art appeared overnight – had denied claims the family had decided against exchanging contracts.

The family had said they wanted the artwork to stay in place and be protected, insisting the sale was merely put ‘on hold for 48 hours.’

Mr Makin admitted the family had to ‘take a moment to think about it’ after the valuation was revealed, and that his mother had been left distressed by the attention.

It is understood the property sold for between £300,000 and £320,000. 

However, it appears a new family has since moved into the property and on Tuesday locals discovered the artwork had been covered with a scaffolding board.   

The piece, which was claimed by Banksy on Instagram shortly after it appeared, had already been protected by a Perspex screen which was installed last week. 

The piece, which was claimed by Banksy on Instagram shortly after it appeared, had already been protected by a Perspex screen which was installed last week

It appears a new family has since moved into the property and on Tuesday locals discovered the artwork had been covered with a scaffolding board

‘Aachoo’ is still situated on the wall but can no longer be seen from the road.      

In cold weather, the Perspex covering the piece would completely steam up, disappointing visitors coming to see it during their daily exercise sessions.

Other Banksy murals across the world have been removed from walls in order to be sold at auction, but it is unknown if that is the plan for ‘Aachoo’.

Elsewhere today, another Banksy mural installed on the side of a salon on Rothesay Avenue, Lenton disappeared overnight.  

Locals had been delighted when the elusive artist adorned the wall with a black-and-white stencil of a girl hula hooping with a bicycle tyre last October.

However, the owners of the wall today confessed they had decided to remove the mural and sell the complete artwork to a gallery owner. 

They told NottinghamshireLive they had attempted to donate the artwork but were unable to, so instead decided to sell the piece to Brandler Galleries.

The anonymous owners, who did not disclose the selling value, added: ‘In October we had a bit of a shock finding that someone had graffitied on our property. When we realised it could be a “Banksy”, despite us not wanting it to remain on the wall, we immediately started to see if we could donate it locally. 

Elsewhere today, another Banksy mural installed on the side of a salon on Rothesay Avenue, Lenton disappeared overnight. Pictured: The previous site of the Banksy artwork

The owners of the wall today confessed they had decided to remove the mural and sell the complete artwork to a gallery owner. Pictured: The Banksy artwork before removal

‘Unfortunately, despite substantial discussions with a number of local organisations, charities and national bodies over the past four months, none were able to commit to taking ownership of the art for various reasons. Once it was clear that we would be unable to gift it, we explored other options and have sold it to Brandler Galleries.’

In Bristol, those who live nearby the ‘Aachoo!’ artwork expressed their disappointment at the piece being removed from view.

One man said: ‘The original piece looked great and brought a lot of new people to this part of Totterdown. It brought some joy to people at what is a pretty awful time.

‘Now it just looks sad and mean spirited. Visitors traipse up the hill and laugh at it. Surely the original Perspex screen and a camera were enough.’

Another added: ‘I remember when graffiti was viewed as art…not as money. Pathetic.’

A third said: ‘Imagine living next door to that monstrosity.’

One man sympathised with the owners and said: ‘It’s a shame it can’t just be left for all to enjoy, but it’s a bit like having a McLaren on a drive where the cars worth more than the house.

‘You would be constantly worried someone jealous was going to damage or steal it.’

It is understood the property in Bristol was a rental with a tenant at the time it was sold last year.

Before the appearance of ‘Aachoo’, Banksy’s latest piece in his home town was painted as a Valentine’s Day treat in 2020.

Located less than two miles from Vale Street on Marsh Lane in Barton Hill, that piece was also swiftly boarded up but not before being defaced.

More than a year later, the stencil of a girl with a catapult remains boarded up with the roses covered by Perspex. 

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