An art work by Banksy, on the Thekla Social entertainment boat, central Bristol, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Clement Street youth centre in Bristol is set to benefit, by being allowed to sell, and keep the proceeds, the Banksy artwork that it removed from the outside wall of the club, to which the iconic artist had screwed it, to show his support for the cash-strapped charity venue.
The piece, entitled Mobile Lovers, was authenticated when it got posted on the celebrated street artist’s website on Monday, though the whereabouts were kept secret. That was not a situation likely to last long, after news of the find, by yuth club members, leaked out, and of course , a host of photographers and news crews arrived in the early afternoon to capture the image, which was painted onto a black piece of wood screwed onto a wall.
The decision to move the newly painted Banksy inside was taken after lunch, and at four in the afternoon, a group of youths, members of financially struggling Broad Plain & Riverside Youth Project, used crowbars to remove it, before taking it carefully inside the Clement Street centre. It was, said 58 year-old Dennis Stinchcombe MBE, leader of the youth project, who had apparently been urged to take the piece by a friend of Banksy.
It was said that the artist had intended it to go to the club, knowing that they needed money, which was why he had painted it onto a wood panel instead of the wall. Even though Bristol City Council were not 100% sure of the ownership of the wall Mobile Lovers was attached to, nobody begrudges the youth centre the good fortune that this generous gift will bestow.
The youth urgently needed £120,000 to keep going, and to date their fundraising efforts had only got them a few thousand pounds, but the auctioneer who is in charge of the coming sale was confident that the Mobile Lovers piece would fetch at least £200,000 and possibly far more, so Banksy being so magnanimous has secured the long term future of the ailing club, which helps out at least a thousand young people on a monthly basis.
Mobile Lovers comes days appeared hot on the heels of a piece – surrounding a phoine bos in Cheltenham – depicting three 1950s-style agents listening in on conversations. While that was described as excellent by the website streetartnews the Bristol piece rated a brilliant – an epic stencil showing a lovely embracing couple being hypnotised by their mobile phones, on a painted black wooden panel.
George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol commented that he enjoyed seeing yet another witty Banksy raid on his home city, Banksy being part of what gives Bristol its artistic, creative and subversive spirit. His and other artistic contributions are the things that which make Bristol such a sparky place, with those wonderful works of street art.
English: Banksy graffiti on the Bottom of Park Street Bristol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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