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Banksy's Art Buff in Folkestone is being restored and will be re-installed publicly

By Victoria Chessum

A Banksy masterpiece is "undergoing conservation" and is set to be unveiled in a seaside town once again.

The piece, dubbed Art Buff, showed a woman peering over a plinth and was painted on the side of Palace Amusements arcade in Payers Park, Folkestone, in September 2014.

It became a huge tourist attraction for the town but was later ruined with graffiti.

Art Buff, the genuine Banksy confirmed in Kent
Art Buff, the genuine Banksy confirmed in Kent

In November of that year it was removed from the wall by the building's owners, the family of Jimmy Godden, to appear in a US auction in Miami and was expected to fetch £450,000.

Proceeds from the sale were set to be donated to the cancer charity set up in aid of Mr Godden, the former owner of the Rotunda site at Folkestone seafront, who died in March 2012.

But after it failed to sell a legal battle over its ownership saw the painting placed in the hands of the Creative Foundation who are keeping the valuable work in storage.

Vandals damaged the Banksy when it was there. Picture: Paul Amos
Vandals damaged the Banksy when it was there. Picture: Paul Amos

It is set to be put up again in Folkestone, but details of where and when are yet to be confirmed.

A spokesman for the Creative Foundation said: "Our Banksy is currently in storage, undergoing conservation.

"We are looking into the best site to re-install it for the people of Folkestone and its visitors to enjoy throughout the year."

Banksy crept into Dover last weekend and painted a Brexit-themed mural on a derelict building in Townwall Street, on the A20 leading to the Port of Dover.

Elusive artist Banksy crept into Dover and painted a Brexit themed mural last Sunday
Elusive artist Banksy crept into Dover and painted a Brexit themed mural last Sunday
Close-up of the Banksy Brexit artwork in Dover
Close-up of the Banksy Brexit artwork in Dover

The premises, also owned by the Godden family, is set to be knocked down.

A statement from the family said: "The building is within the Dover Waterfront (development) area and is due to be demolished in the coming months to allow for wholesale regeneration proposals to be brought forward.

“We can confirm that we are exploring options for the retention, removal or sale of the piece, in conjunction with the Bankrobber Gallery in London.

“Furthermore we will look to benefit local charities with proceeds from any sale of the piece.”

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