Work has begun to move a Banksy artwork painted on the side of a steelworker’s garage in Port Talbot.
The Season’s Greetings mural will be removed from its current site in the Taibach area before being transported to a new art museum in the town’s centre.
On Tuesday, a team of civil engineer experts began to drill into the two external walls of the garage which the stencil is displayed on, which has already been covered in resin to stop it from cracking.
On Wednesday, the mural will be lifted from the remaining part of the garage by a crane and loaded onto a lorry.
A police escort is expected to then accompany the lorry as it takes the mural to a new art gallery at Ty’r Orsaf, a former police station recently developed into a mixed-use retail unit in Port Talbot’s town centre.
The stencil, which shows a child dressed for snow playing in the falling ash and smoke from a skip fire, appeared on the side of a garage owned by steelworker Ian Lewis, 55, in December.
Essex-based art dealer John Brandler, 63, purchased the piece for a “six-figure sum” in January before agreeing to allow it to be displayed for the public in Port Talbot for a minimum of three years.
Neath Port Talbot Council leader councillor Rob Jones said: “Banksy’s artwork has certainly brought a lot of publicity for Neath Port Talbot since it arrived and we now hope many people will enjoy viewing it in its new setting.
“We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Welsh Government, Pobl and Mr Brandler on this, and our thanks go to our local civil engineering experts Andrew Scott Ltd for taking on the job of moving this piece of art which, thanks to the publicity surrounding it, is known throughout the world.
“Neath Port Talbot, with its dramatic mix of scenery including hillsides, seaside, waterfalls and industry, plus its many famous actors, now has another feather in its cap and we look forward to exploring the many educational and economic development opportunities that the Banksy appearing here has given the area.”