- The Banksy mural was taken from the wall of a house in a seaside British city.
- It was written in 2021 and has become a “living nightmare” for home owners.
- They had two options: pay $75,700 a year to maintain it, or $379,000 to remove it.
A British couple spent hundreds of thousands of dollars removing a Banksy mural from the side of their home after it became a ‘living nightmare’.
Harry and Gokean Coutts from Lowestoft woke up one morning in 2021 to find a 6m seagull on their wall. It was one of three frescoes painted in the seaside town as part of Great British Staycation Collection.
When it was first drawn, it looked like the seagull was diving down to refill the polystyrene “chips” that were in the yellow container.
The props were seized in December after a third party removed the fake chips in January 2022.
Work on the dismantling of the mural wall began in April, and the last part was removed recently, British broadcaster BBC reported on Tuesday.
On the same day the country published an article with an interview with Mr. Coutts. He explained how the piece of art, valued at £3,000,000 ($5.68m), had become “extremely stressful” for him and his wife, according to a local media outlet.
It became a target of vandals and had to hire a “night watchman” to protect it after someone stole a piece of it and tried to sell it online, Mr Coutts told the publication.
He said he was told by the local council that it would cost the couple £40,000 ($75,700) a year to maintain the artwork if they kept it.
“At first it was obviously unbelievable, but as things progressed it became extremely stressful. I’m not sure Banksy is aware of the unintended consequences for homeowners. If we could turn back time, we would,” said Mr Coutts. Time.
“It was a real nightmare. We had some problems with cracks in the wall, so to make it safe we had to remove it, because in case of an accident we will be responsible,” he said.
He said the relocation bill was likely to be over £200,000 (US$379,000) and that he and his wife “would like to sell it and make something out of it”.
A spokesman for the Lowestoft City Council told the BBC it was a private building and he “didn’t know what happened to the Banksy Seagull”.
The council “didn’t have any information about the owner’s intentions,” the spokesman added, according to the BBC.