A run-down three bedroom end of terrace house in Cheltenham has just come onto the market for £210,000. It is, according to the advert, close to the town centre. It boasts period features, is Grade II listed and has a courtyard garden. Oh, and Banksy vandalised one of its outside walls.
In a satirical swipe at nearby GCHQ, the government intelligence agency which specialises in spying on communications, the Bristol-born street artist's mural portrays a group of spies — with trilby hats, sunglasses and long brown overcoats — listening in to a phone box in front of the wall.
The work, called Spy Booth, appeared on the property in Fairview Road in April 2014. In the past, Banksy's artwork on walls has been cut out and put up for auction, selling for hundreds of thousands of pounds. The local community wanted to keep it and fought an attempt by an American collector to bid for the work — an offer thought to be worth seven figures.
According to the Gloucestershire Echo, local businesspeople launched a campaign to raise £1m so the graffiti could be purchased and kept in Cheltenham. However, it soon emerged art collector Sky Grimes had purchased the artwork in June 2014, which he ordered to be removed so it could be displayed in a London gallery and then in his house. It is not known how much he paid.
But Spy Booth was itself heavily vandalised later the same year it appeared. And Cheltenham Borough Council protected the graffiti in February 2015 by including it in the building's listed status. In December, the council said it was involved in brokering the sale of the property on behalf of its owner, who is not Grimes.
"If this proves possible, the council will more easily be able to ensure the restoration and longer term protection of the Banksy," councillor Andrew McKinlay told BBC News. "It is not proposed for this transfer to be at the council's cost but the first task is to achieve a value for the transfer which can be agreed by all parties."
Peter Ball & Co, the estate agents marketing the property, called it a "rare opportunity to acquire a Grade II listed, Victorian, three-bedroom end terrace property with a genuine Banksy on the gable wall. The property is being offered for sale with no onward chain and requires a comprehensive schedule of refurbishment offering accommodation."
Land Registry shows the property was last purchased in December 2005 for a price tag of £150,000.