Banksy’s mural at the Torquay Hotel was removed with an angle grinder and washed away

An old Banksy artwork has been cut unceremoniously from the side of a West Country hotel and ‘no one even noticed’.

The mysterious Bristol street artist’s mural has been removed from the Abbey Sands Hotel in Torquay, Devon live reports.

Workmen used an angle grinder to slice it from the wall, nearly 11 years after it first appeared in October 2010.

READ MORE: Banksy’s distraction tactics revealed by model village owner

DevonLive spoke to its new owner, Banksy collector John Brandler, who has already paid six-figure sums for other major Banksy pieces.

Torquay’s piece cleverly fashioned the existing air vent into a robot’s head and showed a young boy, with a cardboard box hiding his face, kneeling and drawing at his feet.

Mr Brandler said he was shocked that no one in Torbay appreciated the value of the hidden Banksy, and said that in the two days it took to remove it, ‘people were walking past and no one was even looking “.

He added: “Not a single person stopped to take a picture. No one asked ‘What are you doing? It’s a Banksy’.”

Video shows him being removed with an angle grinder from the wall of the Abbey Sands Hotel – formerly The Grosvenor, which appeared in the second series of the Channel 4 series The Hotel.

His removal comes just weeks after Banksy posted a video of new artwork along the East Coast during his ‘Great British Spray’.

Jon Dodd, who filmed the Banksy being abducted by a workman, told Devon Live: “As Banksy supporters all made their way to the East Coast, Torquay lost their only Banksy.

“Unless it’s sold, its next release will be the centerpiece of a street art exhibition in Scunthorpe. How sad that Torquay hasn’t preserved it to attract hundreds of thousands more tourists.”

Banksy at the Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay in 2010. New owners Mark and Melda Jenkins with Banksy’s artwork shortly after it appeared

New owner Mr Brandley said he was contacted by the hotel owner before Covid hit, but it has taken so far to arrange the move.

“No one liked it”

He said: “I love it! I think it’s fantastic. It makes me smile. His best tracks all make me smile.

“I just think it’s sad that it’s been in Torquay for 11 years and no one has enjoyed it. Torquay had a major piece of Banksy artwork that was hidden away for 11 years.

“Councils have the opportunity to acquire these pieces, but they don’t think holistically about the crowds they would draw to the city.”

Archive image from October 2010 of Grosvenor Hotel staff admiring the Banksy in Torquay

“There is a possibility that one day it will come back. I am looking for a permanent site for a street art museum – there are only five in the world and I want to open the sixth.”

Hotel staff said: ‘We were told the guys were fixing the extractor fan. They stayed there for a few days, then it was all covered up and we realized it was all gone.

A shopkeeper added that she had seen the men working there but hadn’t realized what was going on, adding: ‘To be fair, if it was mine I would have probably sold,” she said.

Read the full story at Devon live

When the Banksy first appeared in 2010, one estimate was that it would have added £150,000 to the value of the hotel.

A photograph of Torquay’s image appeared on Banksy’s website, where he authenticates his works alongside his Instagram page.

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