ARTS & COLLECTIBLES

LOST & PARTIALLY FOUND

The last remaining nine pieces of Bansky’s destroyed Spy Booth mural, along with an original digital NFT made exclusively for this collection, sells for $610,000 through Cosmic Wire.

JESSICA HALL

Banksy Spy Booth wall mural

Early October, Cosmic Wire crashes servers with heavy web traffic. The overwhelming demand was for fragments of the Spy Booth mural by the famous street artist Bansky. “The crash was equal parts exhilarating and anxiety-inducing to live through in real-time,” says Cosmic Wire CEO Jerad Finck. “We knew there was a lot of interest surrounding the piece. We felt the energy but had no idea it would be like this. Our server CPU hit 98% within two minutes of starting the auction, causing the site to go down, followed by intermittent blips of life over the next several hours with hundreds of millions of hits steadily rolling in. So, we had to call it off because we didn’t want legitimate bidders to miss out on this opportunity. We’re back up on a designated server and look forward to the auction.”

In true Bansky fashion, the famed Spy Booth mural appeared overnight on a wall on the side of a house in 2014 in Cheltenham, England. The street art depicted three 50’s-era spies wearing trench coats and sunglasses with listening devices to tap into phone conversations at an actual public telephone booth. The Cheltenham house was just a few miles from The British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which shortly before the mural appeared was the subject of a series of revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Banksy Spy Booth

In 2016, the mural disappeared. Some say vandals destroyed it, while others believe contractors removed the mural during the much-needed renovation of the dilapidated building. Half a decade later, the last known remaining nine pieces, which contain the depictions of all three spies, with an exclusive NFT collectible that commemorates the iconic artwork in a way that brings the remaining pieces back to life.

In 2016, the mural disappeared. Some say vandals destroyed it, while others believe contractors removed the mural during the much-needed renovation of the dilapidated building. Half a decade later, the last known remaining nine pieces, which contain the depictions of all three spies, with an exclusive NFT collectible that commemorates the iconic artwork in a way that brings the remaining pieces back to life.

“We are genuinely excited to play a small part in time encapsulating this crescendo of human culture and bringing it back to the people,” continues Finch. “This is what our mission at Cosmic Wire is specifically, to preserve and disseminate humanity’s finest achievements. We feel we have really stumbled upon something spectacular with this piece, and we just can’t wait to show the world.”

Cosmic Wire’s fixed their initial web crash plight in a week and bidders were glued back to their screens with a starting bid of $30K at 12:48 pm by a bidder “andrewc.” Five hours later, the bidding frenzy ended with lucky “andrewc” with the winning bid of $610,000. Spy Booth now has a new guardian.

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