Vandals attack Cheltenham 'Banksy' artwork

Vandlas attack Cheltenham Banksy Image copyright Liam McKinnon
Image caption The faces of the three men were painted over with white paint

Vandals attacked street art believed to be by Banksy which appeared in Cheltenham this week - but it was saved by drinkers who rushed from a nearby pub to wash off the paint.

White paint was daubed on the picture on Thursday night but was spotted before it dried.

The artwork in Hewlett Road depicts three men wearing sunglasses and using listening devices to "snoop" on a telephone box.

It appeared there on Sunday.

Image copyright Cheltenham Pubs
Image caption Pubgoers and residents successfully washed the paint off the Cheltenham street art
Image caption The artwork appeared three miles from GCHQ on Sunday

Local residents tweeted that they were disappointed by the attack.

Cheltenham Pubs tweeted: "Local publican, passers by and residents rush to save vandalised Banksy."

Liam McKinnon asked: "Why can't we just enjoy something?"

Earlier this week, Cheltenham Borough Council said it would be happy to help protect the piece of art, which is three miles from the government listening post GCHQ.

Image caption The Banksy street art has been attracting attention at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Meanwhile, another artwork confirmed to be by Banksy has gone on show at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

The piece, showing a couple embracing while checking their mobile phones, was posted on Banksy's website on Monday and was discovered in Clement Street in Bristol.

It was removed by officials at Broad Plain Boys' Club who wanted to sell it to save the club.

However, it was then returned to the city council, which has now put it on public display.

Ray Barnett, collections manager for the museum, said the ownership of the painting was still being debated.

He added: "I'm not sure what will happen in the future about this.

"It's interesting that it appeared where it did and that people are speculating on whether Banksy had an ulterior motive - that's not for me to say."

Image caption The art work was removed by the leader of Broad Plain Boys' Club who wanted to sell it to save the club

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