Banksy artwork house owners pull out of property's sale
The owners of a house in Bristol have apparently pulled out of the sale of the property after a Banksy piece appeared on the wall.
Banksy’s artwork appears to show a pensioner whose sneeze is knocking over buildings, an effect created by spraying it on the side of the house in Vale Street in Totterdown – England’s steepest street.
His piece, entitled “Aachoo!!”, was first discovered on the external wall of the semi-detached property on Thursday morning.
It features a woman wearing a headscarf and holding a handkerchief, bending over while sneezing – with the force causing her to release her walking stick and handbag.
Her dentures are shown shooting out of her mouth.
In an image release by Banksy, the woman’s sneeze appears to have knocked over a wheelie bin at the next-door property, while a man holding an umbrella is being blown backwards.
ITV News West Country spoke to the owners of the house, which had a sold sign up outside, and were told they have pulled out of the sale.
They were due to exchange contracts next week but the Banksy work could see the value of their house rocket.
Nicholas Makin, whose mother Aileen owns the property, said people had been climbing over the house to get a better look at the new piece.
He told ITV News West Country that his mother is distressed by the attention and they will take time to consider what to do next.
A spokesman for Bristol City Council told the PA news agency the authority is not involved as the artwork had been sprayed on a private property.
Banksy confirmed the piece was his work on his website and Instagram page on Thursday afternoon.
Fred Loosmore, 28, who rented a room in the house until recently, screwed a piece of clear acrylic over the artwork to protect it.
Mr Loosmore, along with colleague Sam Hunt, 28, brought the piece of acrylic from their nearby business Contrast Timbers.
“We wanted to cover it up because people will deface it, and luckily we’ve got a workshop and a massive piece of acrylic we’ve got left over,” Mr Loosmore said.
“We’ve screwed it on and put some anti-theft screws on it so no-one can ruin it.
“My bedroom was on that wall. There’s a big walk-in wardrobe on the wall it’s on.
“When we lived here so many people would come, especially on bikes and stuff because they were trying to do the challenge up the hills. It’s a great spot.
“I used to love this house but due to circumstances the landlady had to sell. I still can come and see it though.
“It’s great, it’s awesome, it’s so nice. It’s so relevant, isn’t it?”
Vale Street is said to be the steepest in England, with its 22-degree gradient put to use during annual Easter Sunday egg-rolling competitions.