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Graffiti artist Banksy's spy mural defaced - with graffiti

Published on Aug 2, 2014 3:41 PM

LONDON (AFP) - A mural by British street artist Banksy which mocks government surveillance has been defaced with spray paint, leaving fans saying on Friday they faced a race against time to save the £1 million (S$2.1 million) artwork.

The piece, titled Spy Booth, depicts three men in trench coats using listening devices to tap into conversations at an actual public telephone box in Cheltenham, south-west England.

It is just three miles from the UK government listening post GCHQ, which was the subject of a series of recent revelations by fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Vandals spray-painted silver and red graffiti on to the elusive artist’s design overnight, but residents have expressed their hope that the piece, valued at £1 million, can be saved.

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