Banksy has say over disputed Mobile Lovers artwork

Banksy's Mobile Lovers Mobile Lovers could be worth as much as £4m, the boys' club believes

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The renowned street artist Banksy has said his disputed Mobile Lovers work should be kept by a Bristol boys' club.

His piece, which appeared in a doorway in Clement Street in the city, was taken away by the leader of nearby Broad Plain Boys' Club to raise money.

But Bristol City Council argued the work was on its land and it was taken to a museum for safekeeping.

A note to the club written by Banksy said they can do what they "feel is right" with the piece.

'Proper resolution'

Dennis Stinchcombe from the boys' club, 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."

Banksy letter The note has been authenticated as coming from the elusive Bristol artist

The letter begins: "Dear Dennis, I hope this finds you well. As you know I recently painted on a doorway near the club."

The street artist goes on to say that he does not usually admit to "committing criminal damage" but as "a great admirer of the work done at the club" he would "be chuffed if this can help in some way".

The note ends: "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'."

Mr Stinchcombe has said he has been told the disputed artwork could fetch as much as £4m.

He said he believed Banksy was a supporter of the boys' club as a result of his childhood experiences.

"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's come clean to us and it's lovely," added Mr Stinchcombe.

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said he had contacted Banksy's representative who confirmed the note was from the elusive artist.

"This is a proper resolution - we've done our job by looking after it and in the meantime we've collected a bit more for the boys' club, and thousands of people in Bristol and farther afield have seen it," said the mayor.

"This was never a case of Dennis and I not seeing eye to eye.

"Dennis has said that if it fetches as much as auction as it could do, the money will go not just to the boys' club but also to youth projects in Bristol."

Sarah-Jane Bungay reports on the Banksy letter

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