The owner of a Bristol home where a new Banksy mural has appeared have pulled out of the the sale at the 11th hour after it emerged the property could now be worth £5million.
Aileen Makin, 57, owns the £300,000 property which could now see its value skyrocket because of the artwork.
She was due to exchange contracts next week, but decided against the move after the street artist confirmed the work painted on the side of her home was his, ITV reports.
A Banksy expert estimates the artwork could add up to £5million in value to the blue-painted property.
The piece, entitled ‘Aachoo!!’, was first discovered on the external wall of the semi-detached property on Thursday morning
Aileen Makin, 57, owns the £300,000 Bristol property and has now pulled out of its sale at the 11th hour after a Banksy artwork appeared on the side of her home on Thursday, which could now see its value skyrocket
‘The ‘Aachoo!!’ artwork appeared overnight on the side of Aileen’s Park Street house which sits alongside Vale Street in Totterdown on December 10.
The street in Bristol, the suspected hometown of the anonymous street artist, is believed to be the steepest street in England.
The image appears to show a pensioner whose sneeze is knocking over buildings, an effect created by spraying it on the side of the house.
The piece was first discovered on the external wall of Aileen’s semi-detached property on Thursday morning.
Joe Syer, the founder of
Aileen’s son Nick Makin told ITV Westcountry people had begun climbing over the house while he slept last night, to get the best look at the new work.
He said the family had now put perspex over the artwork to protect it, and confirmed he would be speaking to security firms today about how to keep it safe and what to do now.
Aileen’s £300,000 property could see its value skyrocket as Banksy’s work often sell for millions
The family have now put perspex over the artwork, which shows a pensioner’s dentures flying out as she sneezes, to protect it
The artwork first appeared on Thursday before Banksy confirmed it was one of his works. Bristol is said to be the hometown of the anonymous artist
Since the painting has been identified as a Banksy, visitors have flocked to the Totterdown area to have a look at the painting
Banksy was busy during lockdown: The ‘Aachoo!’ mural is not the artist’s first piece with a subtle nod to coronavirus to appear this year
Banksy took to Instagram to share a series of images which showed his bathroom covered in his infamous rat sketches
The Bristol ‘Aachoo!’ mural is not the first artwork from Banksy this year.
The elusive street artist kept himself busy during lockdown.
The last six months has seen a number of his trademark tongue-in-cheek artworks pop up across the UK – and many of them made a nod to Covid.
In April, in the peak of the first national lockdown, he posted an Instagram snap of a version of his famous rat designs getting up to no good in a bathroom.
The comical scene showed the rodents knocking the bathroom mirror to one side, hanging on the light pull, swinging on a towel ring and stepping on a tube of toothpaste.
The anonymous artist captioned the picture: ‘My wife hates it when I work from home’.
Titled ‘Game Changer,’ the monochrome painting depicted a young boy playing with a toy nurse over other superhero figurines Batman and Spiderman.
Banksy’s creation, ‘Game Changer’, appeared at Southampton general hospital and paid tribute to the brave NHS frontline staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic
Banksy’s world famous Girl With a Pierced Eardrum painting was also given a coronavirus twist in April.
It depicts a take on Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring, replacing the earring with an outdoor security alarm.
A blue surgical mask was also added to the Bristol mural, although it is not known if this was the artist’s own doing.
Aileen’s son Nick Makin (pictured) confirmed he would be speaking to security firms today about how to keep it safe and what to do now
He added that his mother is quite distressed by all the attention and they will take time to consider what to do next.
The comic artwork shows a woman wearing a headscarf and holding a handkerchief, bending over while sneezing – with the force causing her to release her walking stick and handbag.
Her dentures are shown shooting out of her mouth.
In an image released by Banksy, the woman’s sneeze appears to have knocked over a wheelie bin at the next-door property, while a man holding an umbrella is being blown backwards.
Banksy confirmed on his website and Instagram page on Thursday afternoon that the piece is his work.
It shows a woman wearing a headscarf and holding a handkerchief, bending over while sneezing – with the force causing her to release her walking stick and handbag
Vale Street is said to be the steepest in England, with its 22-degree gradient put to use during annual Easter Sunday egg-rolling competitions.
Fred Loosmore, 28, a furniture maker who rented a room in the house until recently, said: ‘When we lived here so many people would come, especially on bikes and stuff because they were trying to do the challenge up the hills. It’s a great spot.
‘The artwork is so nice. It’s so relevant, isn’t it?’
HOW THE MAIL ON SUNDAY NAMED BANKSY AS ROBIN GUNNINGHAM IN 2008
After a year-long investigation by Claudia Joseph, Simon Trump, Ewan Fletcher, Adam Luck, Jason Buckner and Craig Hibbert, the Mail on Sunday named Banksy as Robin Gunningham.
The search began with a photograph taken in Jamaica showing a man in a blue shirt and jeans, with a hint of a smile on his face and a spray can at his feet. Taken in 2004, it was said to show Banksy at work. When the picture was published it appeared to be the first chink in the armour of anonymity with which the artist has shielded himself ever since his work began to attract the attention of the art world.
Armed with this photograph, the team travelled to Bristol, long said to have been Banksy’s home city, where they made contact with a man who claimed to have once met the artist in the flesh.
Many people claimed as much, but the moment one started asking for more information, one discovered they actually ‘know someone who met Banksy’ – and the trail ran cold.
However, this man claimed not only to have met the elusive artist but was able to furnish us with a name – not the usual variations of the name Banks but one all the more intriguing.
The man in the photograph, he insisted, was formerly known as Robin Gunningham – and it didn’t require much imagination to work out how such a name could result in the nickname Banksy.
From records available to the public, they were able to glean further information.
Robin’s father, Peter Gordon Gunningham was from the Whitehall area of Bristol. His mother, Pamela Ann Dawkin-Jones was a company director’s secretary and grew up in the exclusive surroundings of Clifton.
The couple married on April 25, 1970, at Kingswood Wesley Methodist Church. On February 8, 1972, their daughter Sarah was born at Bristol Maternity Hospital, by which time Peter had been promoted to area manager for a hotel company and the couple had bought their first home, a semidetached house in Bristol.
On July 28, 1973, Robin was born in the same hospital. According to neighbours, the boy had early surgery for a cleft palette.
The images provide a behind-the-scenes look at the guerrilla artist creating some of his famous works, captured by his long-time associate – although they do not appear to capture his face
When Robin was nine, the family moved to a larger home in the same street and it is there he spent his formative years and became interested in graffiti.
A neighbour, Anthony Hallett, recalls the couple moving into the street as newlyweds and living there until 1998. They have since separated.
When they showed Mr Hallett the Jamaica photograph, he said the man in it was Robin Gunningham.
In 1984, Robin, then 11, donned a black blazer, grey trousers and striped tie to attend the renowned Bristol Cathedral School, which currently charges fees of £9,240 a year and lists supermodel Sophie Anderton as a former pupil.
It was hard to imagine Banksy, the anti-authoritarian renegade, as a public schoolboy wandering around the 17th Century former monastery, with its upper and lower quadrangles and its prayers in the ancient cathedral.
But they then found a school photograph, taken in 1989, of a bespectacled Robin Gunningham in which he shows a discernible resemblance to the man in the Jamaica photograph.
Indeed, fellow pupils remember Robin, who was in Deans House, as being a particularly gifted artist.
In the rare interviews Banksy has given (always anonymously), the artist has acknowledged that it was while at school that he first became interested in graffiti.
Robin Gunningham left school at 16 after doing GCSEs and began dabbling in street art.
As the investigation continued, their inquiries demonstrated again and again that the details of Robin Gunningham’s life story dovetail perfectly with the known facts about Banksy.
By 1998 Robin Gunningham was living in Easton, Bristol, with Luke Egan, who went on to exhibit with Banksy at Santa’s Ghetto, an art store which launched at Christmas 2001 in London’s West End.
Egan and Gunningham are believed to have left the house when the owner wanted to sell it.
Camilla Stacey, a curator at Bristol’s Here Gallery who bought the property in 2000, said that Banksy and Robin Gunningham are one and the same person. She knew the house had been inhabited by Banksy because of the artwork left there – and she used to get post for him in the name of Robin Gunningham.
Once the group were almost certain Banksy was Gunningham – they went searching for him and tried to see if his parents would help.
His mother Pamela lived in a neat modern bungalow in a village outside Bristol. After identifying ourselves, they asked her if she had a son called Robin.
Her reaction was very odd. They showed her the Jamaica photograph and she was visibly startled, but said she didn’t recognise the man in the photograph, to whom she bears more than a passing resemblance. They asked if she could put us in touch with him.
‘I’m afraid I don’t know how to get in contact with him,’ she said.
So she did have a son called Robin? ‘No, I don’t. I don’t have a son at all.’
They asked her if she had any other children. ‘Yes, a daughter.’
But no son and certainly not a son who went to Bristol Cathedral School?
‘No,’ she said, and went on to deny she was Pamela Gunningham, insisting that the electoral roll must be incorrect.
Their conversation with Peter Gunningham, who now lived in a gated development in the suburb of Kingsdown, was equally baffling.
Again, they presented the photograph of Banksy/Robin Gunningham. Mr Gunningham said he didn’t recognise the person in the picture. They told him that they believed his son to be Banksy. ‘No,’ he replied. ‘I can’t help you, really.’
Mr Gunningham politely continued to deny that his son was Banksy but his manner was almost playful. He refused to give them any information about Robin. It was all very strange.
Had the couple never heard of Banksy or Robin Gunningham, one might have expected a reaction of complete bewilderment. This did not seem to be the case.
They then contacted Banksy’s public relations officer who, in the best Banksy tradition, neither confirmed nor denied the story.