In December Banksy graffitied a mural on the side of a garage in Port Talbot in South Wales. Banksy confirmed the work was his via his official Instagram account.
The artwork appears on two sides of a garage depicting a child enjoying snow falling – the other side reveals it is a fire emitting ash.
Unfortunately, the owner of the garage has been inundated with thousands of visitors since the piece showed up and it has caused him constant stress as he does his best to try and avoid the work being damaged.
Mr Lewis, the owner of the garage, is quoted saying:
“There’s more than one thousand people going there a day, all hours, day and night. I just can’t cope with it now, to be honest with you.”
“I didn’t know at the beginning it was a Banksy, I just thought it was a fantastic bit of artwork, and I was going to cover it and protect it and keep it for myself. Then it just went viral on Facebook that it could be Banksy.”
“The first-night people were coming up there, and people wanted to chip bits off it.”
“There was even talk that people wanted to chisel it out and take it home, they wanted to steal it.”
“I’ve been stressed, it’s dropped a bomb on me. I’d just like a bit of normality back into my life, like it used to be.”
It is believed around 20,000 people have come to visit the piece since December.
Mr Lewis is now looking for help to maintain the piece and the local council have offered with an option to move the piece to safeguard it for the community. The council will cover the costs for the relocation and have stated that Mr Lewis will still own the piece.