East End Tours have been doing some research and according to The Guardian, a youth club in Bristol has received a generous donation from none other than Banksy himself after an artwork produced by the renowned street artist was painted on their doorway. The club, Broad Plain Working With Young People, found the piece, named Mobile Lovers, in April this year.
The piece depicts a couple hugging whilst using mobile phones behind the others back. It was said to have been screwed onto the wall with nothing but a plank of wood as its base. The piece was later removed by the club and Dennis Stinchcombe, the owner, welcomed the public to see it for themselves. Donations for the club were also optional.
However, a few days after, police took the painting and gave it to the City Council. The council then made the decision to place it in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
When it seemed that there was no hope left, Banksy wrote a letter to the owner of the club and said: “As far as I’m concerned you can have it.”
Mobile Lovers was then sold on to a private collector. All of the funds went to the youth club.
Stinchcombe commented: “Mobile Lovers has been a fantastic gift for us; without it, the club would definitely have shut within the next 12 months or so.”
“The sale of the work has given us a cushion, to assist in carrying on with our valuable work with the young people of Bristol.”
A leading art expert, Mary McCarthy of MM Contemporary Arts LTD, handled the sale.
She commented: “The significance of this work and of the original placing of the work by Banksy, is immense. It’s a seminal piece, pure Banksy, made even more remarkable by its intent. It’s a very generous gesture, and it’s noteworthy that an artist risen from the street has given back so prominently to the street.”
“It’s an extraordinary gift, both in the financial benefit to Broad Plain and in the reminder to us of the immeasurable value of youth clubs.”
“The sale of this work will enable future Banksys and other young people to find a safe and creative haven in Broad Plain. There are many kids, and clubs, out there, still needing support and I hope this will prompt awareness of the good these clubs do.”
The youth club has been in operation for roughly 120 years, and it required as much as £120,000 to keep running. Stinchcombe said that he received “offers of up to £2m.”
Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, commented: “This has been a great addition to the volumes of Bristol Banksy stories – with a magnificent outcome for Broad Plain.”
“We have been delighted to take care of Mobile Lovers and enable tens of thousands of visitors to appreciate it during its time at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. It’s also resulted in us raising further funds for the club from visitor donations.”
“However, this chapter comes to an end. I’m delighted with the outcome and grateful to Banksy for letting it be known that he would be happy for proceeds from a sale to benefit a Bristol club that does so much good for local young people.”
Broad Plain have announced that they will be “sharing a portion of the proceeds with a number of other voluntary sector youth clubs across the city of Bristol.”
The team has also created a “Thanks Banksy” wall in cooperation with Young Bristol Creative Team.
If you are interested in street art and would like to see more of Banksy’s pieces, come to the East End! Www.eastendtours.com Street Art London Tour will reveal a number of fantastic pieces from all different artists. For more details, please get in touch through our website.