His identity has remained a mystery for years - but has this CCTV footage finally unmasked the enigma that is Banksy?
An unidentified hoodie-wearing figure was captured on camera as the infamous graffiti artist's latest creation was installed in Bristol.
CCTV outside the Broad Plain and Riverside Youth Project in Bristol shows two people unloading equipment from a white van in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The cheeky pair, who are dressed as workmen, were spotted hours before Banksy’s new piece, titled ‘Mobile Lovers’ appeared on the doorway of a rundown street in Bristol.
The image later appeared on Banksy’s website on Monday morning.
The cameras which captured the two men were, ironically, set up to deter graffiti artists. Hours later the graffiti artwork was removed from the wall using a crowbar by members of the nearby Youth Project.
Bosses are now charging people to see the artwork inside the Broad Plain and Riverside Youth Project.
|He’s arguably the world’s most famous graffiti artist, but just who is Banksy? |
His identity is a closely guarded secret, with only a few of the mystery artist’s inner circle trusted with the information.
According to Biography.com, Banksy was born somewhere near Bristol in 1974. The names most commonly linked to the artist are Robin Banks and Robin Gunningham.
Reports claim Banksy attended the prestigious Bristol Cathedral School, and that he lived in a semi-detached house in Bristol in 1998.
Others have speculated that Banksy is actually a former butcher.
The cash-strapped boy’s club could now sell the Banksy they wrenched from the wall - and make £100,000 for their youth project in the process.
The financially struggling youth group - who insist Banksy wanted them to have it - plan to sell the work to fund the future of the club, and hope to bring in a six-figure sum.
Teenagers at the youth project today defended the decision to remove the Banksy and sell it.
Jordan Pawell, 19, has been attending the project for 11 years - the last two as a youth worker.
The teenager, who helped remove the art work, said: 'It is a really good atmosphere here, with lots of activities to do and loads of people to speak to.
'If we hadn't brought it in it would have been taken by someone else and sold privately and then nobody would have seen it then.'
Leader of the youth club Dennis Stinchcombe MBE, 58, said: 'He has given it to the club. He couldn't give it to us directly as the gates were locked so he put it as close as he could.
'He has done it to help the right people. I was approached by somebody who knows Banksy very well. He's an artist himself and he said 'you need to take that Dennis, get it into that club - it's what it is meant for'.
'Banksy never does his street art on pieces of wood - they are always on walls so they can't be taken away.
'We need £120,000 to keep going and our fundraising appeal has so far only brought a few thousand pounds.
'Now we've ended up with a Banksy on our doorstep. It is a dream come true. I'm absolutely buzzing.
'We have taken it off the wall carefully, it isn't damaged at all. If anyone wants to see it they can come in here and put a donation in the box if they feel like it.
'Somebody was saying it is worth £40,000 but I am hoping for £100,000. It has been authenticated on his website but I am going to try to get it officially done as well.
'We will let people come and see it in here for a while then get it to Bonhams for valuation.
'The money will allow us to do everything we could dream of. It will stand us in good stead for the next 120 years.'
Bristol City Council said they were not '100 per cent sure of the ownership' of the wall the artwork was attached to.
But on Wednesday all that was left where it stood was a sign which said: 'The new Banksy piece is being held in our club to prevent any vandalism or damage being done.
'You are free to come and view but a small donation will be asked of you. Thanks.'
This latest artwork in Clement Street comes just days after a mum-of-five woke up to find a Banksy mural on the side of her rented house on Sunday.
Stunned Karen Smith, 48, heard voices outside in the early hours but thought nothing of it until she spotted men loading huge screens into a van.