Banksy breaks cover to save cash-strapped youth club with £2 million 'Mobile Lovers' work

Banksy breaks cover to save cash-strapped youth club with £2 million 'Mobile Lovers' work

The reclusive artist Banksy has made a rare public statement - to save the fate of a youth club.

The piece 'Mobile Lovers', which depicts a couple locked in a tight embrace while looking at their phones, appeared in a doorway in Clement Street in Bristol less than a month ago.

Dennis Stinchcombe, who has worked at Broad Plain Boys' Club for nearly thirty years, realised the artwork could save rescue his cash-strapped club and quickly removed the piece with the intention to sell it.

Bristol City Council soon intervened and took it to a museum, claiming ownership on the work because it was formerly on their property.


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But the mysterious artist has broken his silence and written to Broad Plains, saying: 'You have my blessing to do what you feel is right with the piece'.

Banksy adds he doesn't 'normally admit to committing criminal damage' but has been a 'great admirer of the work done at the club and would be chuffed if this can help in some way'.


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The note ends with Banksy's famous wit: 'I assume you're familiar with the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln - 'Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle'.'

Dennis, who found the note, said: 'I'm absolutely elated. Words don't express how delighted I am. As soon as I read it and saw the signature I knew what it was.'

The letter, which has been signed by the artist in graffiti style, has been authenticated and could raise more than £2 million for the club should 'Mobile Lovers' go up for auction.

Banksy's rare intervention could betray something about his secretive past - the club leader believes Banksy most likely visited Broad Plain in his childhood.

Dennis said: 'I think as a young man (Banksy) went to Barton Hill youth club and probably came into my club several times at The Dings in St Phillips.'

He added: 'He's come clean to us and it's lovely.'

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