Banksy: Great Yarmouth model could be replaced by replica

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Banksy's model stableImage source, Banksy
Image caption,
The miniature model stable by Banksy was left in secret at Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

A Banksy artwork left at a tourist attraction could be replaced by a replica due to concerns about theft.

The miniature stable appeared at Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on 6 August.

It is one of 10 works Banksy confirmed had been left in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The owners said although they wanted to keep it on show, they had to remove it overnight for security reasons and were considering putting the original in a museum and installing a replica.

Frank Newsome, who owns the Yarmouth attraction, said he was in a state of shock after the famed artist confirmed the model stable was one of the artworks he had created during his so-called "Great British Spraycation".

Since the news broke, it had been "a bit manic", Mr Newsome said, but the park had enjoyed a "50% increase in footfall - which is brilliant".

Image source, Mike Liggins/BBC
Image caption,
Frank Newsome's family owns the model village where Banksy chose to put one of his latest artworks

Mr Newsome said Banksy's team had requested it be placed on show for the public, which he wished to honour.

However, keeping it secure has become a big issue for the Newsome family and having a replica made would give them "peace of mind", he said.

Image source, Mike Liggins/BBC
Image caption,
The Banksy shack sits amid other models in the village

Asked whether people would come to see a replica, he said: "We've got a balancing act to perform.

"Either we might be forced to take it off-site because of the cost of security and having it transported to and from a safe location nightly, whereas a replica - that could be there forever.

"Some people will be disappointed that it's not the Banksy, but it's as close as you're going to get to a Banksy."

Image source, Mike Liggins/BBC
Image caption,
The shack has been covered with a box to protect it

The idea of selling the original work was not something they were considering "right now", he said.

"We want to leave it out for as long as we can - do what Banksy wanted - people to see it.

"We are looking at a few alternatives - one of those is possibly site it in a museum where it can be on public show, but we've got to think long and hard and make the correct decision both for ourselves and the model."

'A gift with conditions'

Banksy expert Prof Paul Gough, principal and vice chancellor of Arts University Bournemouth, has offered to create a replica of the shack for the model village.

"We have one of the best model-making courses in the country, and if we have all the dimensions, it could be recreated," he said.

"There will be pressure to put the piece on the market - and some pieces hit astronomical prices.

"Banksy's people have been in touch with Mr Newsome, he tells me, and they'd like it kept for the public to see for as long as possible."

The Newsome family, he said, "had been given a gift".

"But it's a gift with conditions, really," he added.

Image source, Banksy
Image caption,
The artwork was left by Banksy on 6 August but was not noticed until a visitor pointed it out two days later

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