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Couple Pays $250,000 to Remove a Mural Banksy Painted on Their Building

Source: Getty Images

At this point, Banksy is a well-known name that many people recognize. In fact, he might be one of the few modern artists who can claim that kind of fame.

Imagine finding out that you’ve become the owner of a brand-new piece by the mysterious street artist himself. Well, unfortunately, for one British couple, that excitement turned into a complete nightmare.

 According to a recent report from the Sun, Banksy decided to grace the side of their house in Suffolk with a massive 20-foot seagull mural. Why a seagull? We’re not sure.

Banksy created this impressive piece of avian art back in 2021, and since then, the homeowners, Gary and Gokean Coutts, have been dealing with persistent issues, especially with local vandals.

Now, they are faced with two costly options: either pay nearly $50,000 each year to protect and preserve the mural or hire someone to remove it, which would cost a small fortune of $250,000.

It’s not an easy situation to be in, especially considering that the mural has become an iconic piece of artwork.

Garry Coutts initially expressed his excitement about the Banksy artwork to The Times. However, as time went on, having the mural on their home took a toll on their well-being and became a major source of stress for he and his wife.

Coutts also pointed out that Banksy probably doesn’t fully grasp the unintended challenges he imposes on homeowners when he makes his murals. Looking back, Coutts admitted that if given the choice, he would have never wanted the art there in the first place.

Since the mural appeared, the Couttses have had to deal with a range of problems. Vandals have tried to deface the artwork, and thieves have intentionally chipped off small pieces to sell online. It has been nothing short of a nightmare.

Now they are faced with large cracks in their wall and angry letters from the county council. To protect the mural after dark, they even had to hire a security guard at their own expense. 

All in all, safeguarding the artwork has come with a series of obstacles and financial burdens.

The Couttses have decided to move forward with removing this massive 22-ton seagull from their property. However, it won’t be an easy task. They will need to reinforce the piece with multiple layers of resin, steel, and fiberglass. With the help of an industrial crane, the mural will be carefully extracted and relocated. The new location is yet to be determined.

In an attempt to alleviate the heavy financial burden, the Couttses hope to sell the piece. Mr. Coutts mentioned that he and his wife are just regular middle-class people, and it would greatly help if they could recoup some of the expenses by finding a buyer.

Similarly, in 2021, another Banksy mural depicting a young girl hula-hooping with a bike tire was removed from a large brick wall in Nottingham. The artwork was later sold for a few million dollars to the Brandler Galleries in Brentwood, England.