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Port Talbot Still in Global Spotlight Thanks to Banksy


World wide media interest in the Port Talbot Banksy is continuing unabated with BBC’s The One Show and a team from the American TV network HBO being the latest to visit the town to get news on the artwork.

The One Show filmed Essex based art dealer and gallery owner John Brandler –  the new owner of the first ever Welsh Banksy – as he visited Port Talbot last  Friday for talks with Neath Port Talbot Council officers.

They met at the Council’s Port Talbot Civic Centre to begin discussions about where, and how, the Banksy should be displayed following Mr Brandler’s generous offer to retain it in Port Talbot for “a minimum of two to three years”.

The guerrilla artist’s work – Season’s Greetings – appeared overnight last December on the walls of a Taibach garage owned by steelworker Ian Lewis and became a global sensation, the story being covered by news sites, newspapers and TV and radio stations the world over.

Tens of thousands – some coming from as far as Australia – have flocked to the site of the mysterious graffiti artist’s work and over the Christmas and New Year holidays, Neath Port Talbot Council had to draft in staff to help control traffic congestion.

Last month, Mr Brandler purchased the Banksy from Mr Lewis for a six-figure sum making the promise the work would be retained in Port Talbot temporarily.

Various sites for housing the work locally are now being looked at by Mr Brandler.  The Council has indicated it would help to identify premises to support Mr Brandler in his quest for a suitable location.

A team from American pay TV network HBO was also in Port Talbot on Friday to make a documentary for the show Vice News Tonight, which goes out nightly on HBO. HBO has around 130 million subscribers worldwide.

The leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Rob Jones, said he hoped the town’s overnight sensation might help Port Talbot’s chances of hosting a new gallery of modern art being proposed by the Welsh Government.

He said:

“We are definitely interested in taking up the mantle of modern art.”

John Brandler  is the owner, founder and leading force behind Brentwood, Essex, based Brandler Galleries which is home to a number of Banksy works plus others by fellow street artists, Blek Le Rat and Pure Evil to name a few.

Mr Brandler comes from a dealing background – his grandfather was an auctioneer – and he started dealing in antique furniture while he was still at school. Brandler Galleries specialises in Modern British Art, Illustrations for Children’s Publications and English Old Masters.