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New Banksy artwork in Bristol removed with crowbar by local club

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New street art by "guerrilla artist" Banksy has been removed within hours of being found in Bristol, reports BBC.

The artwork, showing a couple embracing while checking their mobile phones, was posted on Banky's website on Monday and discovered on Clement Street earlier.

Hours later, the nearby Broad Plains Boys Club removed it with a crowbar.

The Banksy - believed to be on plywood - has been replaced with a note saying it was held at the club "to prevent vandalism or damage being done".

The work was discovered by Banksy fan Sally, who managed to track it down using the photo-sharing website Flickr and Google Street View.

The discovery of the new artwork came after Cheltenham Borough Council said it would be happy to help protect a piece of art, believed to be by Banksy, on a wall in the town.

Depicting three men using listening devices to "snoop" on a telephone box, it appeared on Sunday on the side of a house in Fairview Road.

A council spokeswoman said: "The council cannot condone graffiti which is put on to people's property without their permission.

"However, we recognise that the public do see work by Banksy as significant pieces of public art and it is clear that this piece has been getting a huge amount of favourable attention.

"It would be a shame if it was removed or damaged.

"As the artwork is on private property, it is the for the property owner to decide whether they would want it to be kept - they would need to consider the impact this may have on the residents of the property and the wider community.

"Although we still do not know if it is original work by Banksy, given the public interest, we would be happy to help the owner find a solution which would protect it from tagging or other graffiti."

One famous early Banksy artwork, depicting a gorilla in a pink mask, was mistakenly painted over in Bristol in 2011.

Other Banksy images, including examples in Bristol, London, Southampton, New York and Melbourne, were vandalised or accidentally covered.

Banksy has not yet claimed the work in Cheltenham but it bears his hallmarks, according to other street artists.

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