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Archant paper scoops Banksy exhibition world exclusive

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World-renowned urban artist Banksy is today unveiling his biggest-ever art exhibition - in Weston-super-Mare - and Archant’s Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury has the news as a world exclusive on today’s front page and the paper’s readers will be the first to actually see it.

There has been intense speculation in the national and international media throughout this week about the possibility that the anonymous guerrilla artist was preparing to launch a new installation in the town’s disused seafront swimming pool The Tropicana.

However, the first media to cut through the speculation to publish the full facts – confirming details of the exhibition and featuring exclusive quotes from Banksy and pictures of some of the artworks – was today’s Mercury.

Arguably the most important scoop though, was an exclusive deal with the exhibition’s organisers that will ensure all 1,000 tickets for the show’s opening day will be given away free through the paper.

A voucher printed in this week’s edition can be exchanged for a wristband offering coveted opening day access to the Dismaland showcase, a Disneyland satire billed as a ‘bemusement park’ and featuring the work of more than 50 different artists from 17 different countries.

In addition to 10 new pieces from Banksy himself, Dismaland will include works by other stellar names from the art world such as Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer and Jimmy Cauty.

Simon Angear, group editor of Archant’s Somerset newspapers, said: “There can be few contemporary artists as widely known around the world as Banksy, and it’s an enormous coup for Weston-super-Mare that he’s chosen the town to host his new exhibition.

“From what we’ve seen and heard, Dismaland looks set to be his most provocative and controversial work yet, and I have no doubt the eyes of the world’s art-lovers will be on Weston over coming weeks.

“Banksy’s team could not have been more helpful and accommodating as we have planned our coverage, and the exclusive locals-only launch – an idea which came from Banksy himself – has been the icing on the cake, and is brilliant news for our readers.

“I’m sure the exhibition will be a massive success and do wonders for Weston. I know everyone in the Weston newsroom is itching to see it, and really excited about playing a part in our Dismaland coverage over coming weeks.”

Banksy told the Mercury: “I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour. I hope everyone from Weston will take the opportunity to once more stand in a puddle of murky water eating cold chips to the sound of crying children.”

The Mercury’s story

Preview of some of the exhibits

Pictured is today's Mercury world exclusive front page.

© Archant Ltd 2013