Neath Port Talbot Council has outlined proposals it has made to safeguard the Banksy artwork that appeared in Taibach shortly before Christmas.
The Council’s priority is to preserve and protect this exciting example of modern urban art, visited by thousands of people over the holiday season; but recognises that it is the property of the garage owner in the final analysis.
A Council spokesperson said:
“The Council yesterday offered the property owner the opportunity to loan the Banksy to the people of Neath Port Talbot on a permanent basis. The Council would remove, store and relocate it at a location to be decided following a public consultation. We have proposed to meet the cost in full – including a like for like replacement garage but Mr Lewis has refused the offer of a meeting to discuss the matter further.
The Banksy has been a real fillip for Taibach and the wider community in Port Talbot; but leaving it where it is probably not practical given the security requirements (to protect it from vandalism), traffic congestion and other factors. The Council has already committed significant resources to support safety and traffic management measures around the site over the Christmas and New Year period but this cannot go on indefinitely at a growing cost to local taxpayers.
Ultimately it is not our property and the future of the artwork and its impact on surrounding residents lies solely with the garage owner. It is our understanding that he wishes to pursue other options, as is of course his right, but our doors remain open should he change his mind.”