Port Talbot Banksy museum move 'to begin next month'

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John Brandler at the Banksy in Port Talbot
Image caption,
Owner John Brandler said the new museum will bring thousands of visitors to the town

Work to move Port Talbot's Banksy to a new street art museum is set to start next month, according to its buyer.

John Brandler, who paid a six-figure sum for the elusive artist's Seasons Greetings, said it would be displayed in a new gallery in the town.

A team of specialists will move it to the Ty'r Orsaf building on 29 May, Mr Brandler said.

The wall featuring the art weighs about 4.5 tonnes and needs to be covered in resin first.

The graffiti has been protected by plastic sheeting and 24-hour security since it appeared on the side of steel worker Ian Lewis's garage just before Christmas.

It is expected to take days to prepare the artwork for transport and the resin will prevent the wall from crumbling, Mr Brandler said.

"They're putting the resin on the back," he said. "Then fixing bits of chipboard to the back of that. Then they're putting a special crate around it, a bit like a sandwich."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Volunteers estimate more than 20,000 people have visited the Banksy

But Mr Brandler claimed plans for his street art attraction, which he said would bring 150,000 visitors to the town, might be in doubt.

He said terms had not yet been agreed between the owners of the building and Neath Port Talbot council.

But the owners, Pobl Group, said it was in the "final stages" of agreeing a lease with the council.

"Every effort has been made to progress this lease as quickly as possible in order to provide a new home for Seasons Greetings," a spokesman said.

"We have every expectation that this will be concluded very soon and look forward to welcoming the artwork to its new home."

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