It has seen a whole string of firsts - but now Glasgow's much-lauded Banksy exhibition has come to its last day in the city.

From the first time the stencils and behind-the-scenes process of the artist's work has been revealed to the first paid-for exhibition in the Gallery of Modern Art, Cut & Run has been a defining cultural moment for Glasgow - and for Scotland.

And The Herald has been at the heart of it. In June we broke the world exclusive that Banksy was bringing his first solo show in more than a decade to Glasgow.

Today we can bring you another first with exclusive images from inside Cut & Run that only those lucky enough to get tickets to the show have seen. We gained exclusive access to the main gallery where so far the only images to emerge from it have been Polaroids of visitors taken by show staff.

For Banksy fans or those who missed out on the show, today we bring you a souvenir edition featuring images including Banksy's meat wagon exhibit to the bus shelter dancers.

And for GoMA this has been a game-changing summer putting the gallery on the map.

"What it's brought to GoMA and to Glasgow and to Scotland is that moment of focus on what's happening in the city," says GoMA manager Gareth James.

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"We have that sense of honour and pride that Banksy chose GoMA and I think as we've gone on there's been that sense of ownership - that sense of we get Banksy and Banksy gets us."

Famously, Banksy chose the city because the cone propped on top of the Duke of Wellington statue outside the front of GoMA is the artist's favourite artwork in the UK.

"At some point Glasgow has said, 'We're really going to have a go at that pomposity of the statue' and Banksy gets that," Gareth added.

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"There's been lovely firsts: our first paid show, first time Banksy has shown the stencils, it's certainly the first time we've had into-the-wee-small-hours opening, so I think from that it's been such an overwhelmingly positive experience for us all."

Gareth says there has been a theme of repeat visits during the 10 weeks of the show, the news of which The Herald exclusively revealed before its opening on June 18.

People have come and had an "emotional response" to the exhibition and have returned for a second or third look.

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Gareth added: "[I've enjoyed] meeting people at the end who were really quite moved - the Bataclan, Ukraine, those big, heartbreaking moments he's captured through his artwork and the resonance of the emotional heft of those gets far too easily dismissed when we talk about his work."

Opening day, Gareth said, was emotional for him too.

While there has been a slew of celebrity visitors to Cut & Run - on the day The Herald meets with Gareth, Claire Richards from the pop band Steps is waiting outside - it was opening up the space to community groups that excited the GoMA manager most.

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He said: "One of the highlights was opening the doors that first day and what was particularly beautiful about that was the first visitors were Holybrook ASN school in Govanhill.

"We have been very well supported by Cut & Run to get tickets for those communities and schools; Cut & Run has helped with transport costs to get them here.

"That's a stream of work that GoMA has anyway but that has been a lovely continuation."

As well as celebrity highlights - Johnny Depp, Jarvis Cocker - the show has brought some unusual moments such as the Grim Reaper ricocheting around Royal Exchange Square on a remote controlled dodgem to the soundtrack of Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees.

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It's not unusual, on a Friday or Saturday night in the Square, to see revellers looking a bit like death warmed up but the late night opening of GoMA to allow visitors in until 5am created a calming influence on the night life spot.

Inside the exhibition visitors were asked to put their phones away in locked pouches, another first for GoMA.

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Impressed parents have been asking staff members where they can buy the pouches to install them at home.

"What an amazing experience that has engendered for people going round," Gareth said.

"You're not viewing the show through your phone or trying to dodge someone else's phone."

It has been 10 exhausting weeks for Gareth who says, while he will be sad to see the exhibition close, he's looking forward to spending more time with his wife and children.

The GoMA manager still can't believe the team managed to keep the show under wraps during more than two years of plotting and planning.

"We're really chuffed at being able to pull it off, at being able to operate the show with no hitches because it was a complicated set up and having to do it all under the great veil of secrecy.

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"Myself and the curator Martin Craig working with Banksy's team for the best part of two and a half years but we had to keep it secret, which became a trickier and trickier thing as time went on."

"It's only now that I find myself being able to say the artist's name because I spent so long not wanting to have that gaff of saying his name out loud."

Gareth didn't even tell his family because didn't want to put them in the position of having the burden of keeping the secret as well.

He added: "There were maybe some raised eyebrows that I was getting all these messages at 10pm at night about work - they maybe thought there was something going on between me and the curator."

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The famous Duke of Wellington cone has been a recurring theme throughout the 10 weeks of Cut & Run but there had been some worries that someone might remove it - or it might fall off.

In the closing days of the show the cone has been slipping sideways, to the anxiety of GoMA staff.

But Glasgow, as it does, came to the rescue.

"Last night someone climbed up and straightened the cone," Gareth said, "and it looks all the better for it, it was at a perilously jaunty angle.

"There was a bit of panic beforehand - 'We can't lose the cone for the last weekend!'"

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To some hard stares from the Cut & Run team, Gareth says, "It was not me, I hasten to add.

"But there is a beautiful resonance between whoever sorts out the cone - that intervention appears anonymously in the same way that Banksy's work does. There's a lovely echo."

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The obvious question is - has Banksy visited?

Gareth insists he doesn't know and has had no contact with the artist - "But I like that I don't know because I want to keep that mystery. What an amazing way to work.

"I have never met anybody who has put the cone on the Duke's head either."

It has been particularly heartening, Gareth says, to see queues forming outside GoMA, particularly in the post-pandemic era when there are memories of the galleries lying still and empty.

In the closing days of the show the lines for walk up tickets have seen crowds of between 400 and 500 people snaking around the outside of the building.

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There will be an economic impact statement for the show, which attracted 180,000 people, but local businesses have spoken of a "Banksy bounce" in trade.

People have flown in from as far afield as Brazil to catch Cut & Run with a clamour for tickets from people who have come to the city specifically to see it.

The need for additional stewards, box office staff and workers for the retail team meant an additional 200 staff working on the show over the 10 weeks, another economic boost.

Plenty of Glasgow residents have visited GoMA for the first time too and Gareth is hoping they will return for future exhibitions.

Ticket holders for Cut & Run have also used the free galleries - there is currently an exhibition called Repeat Patterns by Glasgow-based artists Helen de Main and Mandy McIntosh - and the GoMA cafe and shop.

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Gareth hopes they will also be impressed by "the strong seam of work we do when it comes to social justice."

For the GoMA staff, it's the end of one thing but the beginning of something else as Cut and Run closes. In mid-October the gallery will become host to Glasgow artists John Beagles and Graham Ramsay.

Gareth added: "You look back and it's crazy, it's wonderful, it's brilliant. It's really something.

"It's that mixed feeling of being sad to see such an amazing thing come to an end but we will keep moving on to the next brilliant thing."

You can order your souvenir Herald with exclusive images from Cut & Run here.