Banksy mural removed from Folkestone 'to be sold'

The mural called Art Buff is on a wall in Payer Park in Folkestone The image is on a wall in Payers Park in Folkestone

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There are calls for a Banksy painting to be returned to a wall in Folkestone, Kent after it was removed.

The work appeared on the wall of an amusement arcade at the end of September, but was later defaced.

Shepway District Council said it was "disappointed" Art Buff had been removed to be sold after the owners were "no longer able to maintain it".

But Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe has asked the owners to save the artwork for the town.

The Conservative MP said: "I was very disturbed to hear the Banksy artwork on the wall of Palace Amusements in Folkestone was removed.

"It is their intention the artwork should be sold at private auction," he said.

'Alternative solution'

The artwork is expected to be auctioned by the Bankrobber Gallery in London.

Mr Collins said: "I have written to Jeremy Godden asking if we can meet to discuss an alternative solution that would allow the Banksy artwork to remain on public display."

The stencil-style artwork depicts a woman staring at an empty plinth while wearing headphones with her hands clasped behind her back.

Clear plastic sheeting was placed over the piece to protect the newly-painted mural, but two weeks later council workers were called to clean it was defaced.

Jeremy Godden was not available for comment.

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