Yarmouth Banksy removed from Merrivale will not return

Banksy stable at Merrivale Model Village

The Banksy stable in a protective casing at Merrivale during the summer. - Credit: Liz Coates

The owners of a model village say a Banksy stable that popped up among the displays will not be seen again in its original setting.

The artwork featuring a stable and a porcelain figure carrying fruit appeared in August during what the elusive artist later declared as his summer 'Spraycation'.

Banksy stable at Merrivale Model Village Great Yarmouth

FLASHBACK: The Banksy bottleneck around the artist's stable which is proving a big draw to the Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth - and also presenting its owners with some difficult decisions. - Credit: Liz Coates

It went unnoticed at the Great Yarmouth's Merrivale Model Village for two days until it was brought to the attention of staff.

Once verified it made headlines across the world, lead to a spike in visitors, but was a mixed blessing.

For Frank and Frances Newcombe it was an exciting but also "scary" time with issues around security a constant concern.

The model is currently off site and a weather-proof replica is being made at the University of the Arts in Bournemouth - which should be in place for February half term.

The Winter Gardens at Great Yarmouth has been awarded £10 million of lottery money. Frances and Fran

Frank and Frances Newsome of Merrivale Model Village. The couple say the Banksy will not go back on display at Merrivale, and will be replaced by a model. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Its next stop is Peterborough Museum where it will be going on display alongside works by Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin as part of an urban arts exhibition starting on December 10 and running through to May.

After that Mr Newsome said the family would be looking at all the options for its future which could include selling it or loaning it another museum.

Overall he was keen for it to be seen and enjoyed by the public as the artist intended, but said it would not be coming back to Merrivale where it had sat for the summer inside a protective case watched over by its own security guard.

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He added it would be a relief not to have to worry about insurance and security which would be covered by the museum during the time it was away.

"Once it is in the museum it will be a load off our minds," he said.

"We will be able to sit with a clear head, discuss all the options, and see where we go from here.

"We are getting a replica made and that should be ready for half term.

The artwork depicts a man and a woman dancing while an accordionist plays.

The bus stop dancers in Admiralty Road, Great Yarmouth, are on the side of a private house. - Credit: James Weeds

"The staff were worried and looking at everyone coming in. It would only need someone to put a hammer to it.

"It wont  come back here to the village. It was too much stress. That is the point of the replica."

The model, said to be worth "silly money", is insured for at least £1,000,000.

Banksy Gorleston arcade grabber

Great Yarmouth street artist Emo has added some bears to a possible Banksy artwork in Gorleston. But is it a true collaboration or a tribute? - Credit: Liz Coates

News that the original will not be seen again at Merrivale comes as another Spraycation Banksy is removed from a shop in Lowestoft.

Workmen were at the site in London Road North on Sunday (November 14) cutting it out of a wall.

It will now be sold by private auction and people in the town have expressed disappointment over its removal.

In Gorleston the council is still looking to relocate a Banksy artwork which was covered over due to its content having possible parallels to the death of a young girl on an inflatable nearby in 2018.

A statement said: "the council is confident that the work can be restored and placed in a more suitable alternative location".

Another illustration featuring an arcade grabber is on a council-owned shelter.

In Great Yarmouth the bus-stop dancers in Admiralty Road are on a private house. The image has been covered with a protective screen  and the owner has not revealed what, if anything, they plan to do now the house has become famous.

Merrivale is open for the next two weekends only, then closed until February half term.

The gift shop and arcade will remain open, weather permitting.

Due to Covid levels the attraction has decided not to proceed with its Christmas event.

During the summer visitors have been able to take home souvenir pictures of themselves created digitally, putting themselves next to the stable at the same scale.



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