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  • People view new Banksy image in Port Talbot

    People view new Banksy image in Port Talbot | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 December 2018

Banksy's latest piece of artwork pops up in an industrial steel worker's town in Wales depicting a sharp social criticism of the industry.

Banksy’s new artwork appeared on a wall in the Welsh town of Port Talbot, drawing thousands of visitors and causing the local police to bring in guards and to place fencing around it for security.

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The artist claimed responsibility for the work titled “Season’s Greetings” by posting pictures of it on his personal website.

The latest mural by the iconic underground graffiti and installation artist shows a boy with a sled who seems to be playing under the falling snow.

Yet, just around the corner from this image there is another panel portraying a trash can lit with fire and ash flying up in the air and landing on the child, “but when you see the flames and the pollution that comes around from the other side of the picture, it brings out the thoughts of what Port Talbot was all about, the industrial side of the things and the history,” Kirstin Tucker, a local resident said.

The site of Banksy’s new mural is a modest garage owned by Ivan Lewis, 55, a steelworker at the town’s Tata Steel plant.

“It started off as fun, but now it’s gone to stress. It’s down to not sleeping, but now I’ve got the security there it’s taken that weight off me,” Lewis said. Although excited about the occurrence, the steelworker did not indicate having any interest in profiting from the mural, “I am very pleased, I think it is a smashing bit of artwork. It is good for the town and I just want to protect it, and it is here for everybody.”

The owner of the garage, and therefore the mural, has declined to have any offers to sell the artwork.

The local government has assured that traffic wardens will keep guard of the mural through the Christmas and New Year holidays. In addition to local government efforts, local actor Michael Sheen paid thousands of pounds to help foot security bills and other costs, such as plastic sheeting to protect the images.

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