Street artist Banksy helps home city of Bristol
- 8 May 2014
- From the section Bristol
Elusive street artist Banksy is well known for his work that has appeared on many walls and unusual locations from Bristol to London to the West Bank.
But fewer admirers will realise how many times the anonymous Bristolian has helped those in need in his home city.
The latest example has seen him gift a piece called Mobile Lovers - placed on a doorway in Bristol city centre - to a local boys' club.
But the door belonged to Bristol City Council and a tussle ensued after the boys' club removed it. The authority and police weighed in and it was eventually moved to the city's museum until an agreement could be reached over its ownership.
A letter to the boys' club owner, Dennis Stinchcombe, from Banksy said he could do what he "felt was right" with the piece. The door is now set to be sold to bring in funds for the club.
Mr Stinchcombe said it needs hundreds of thousands to keep going following council cuts.
Banksy added that he was a "great admirer" of the work done at the club and said he would be "chuffed" if it could help in some way. But it isn't the first time he has stepped in to help fellow Bristolians in need.
In March, a series of fake £10 notes featuring Diana's face, rather than the Queen's, were donated to the Cube Cinema.
The volunteer collective needed to raise £185,000 to buy the freehold for its city centre building which also required building work.
The "Di-faced tenners" were expected to raise £10,000 at Bonhams but eventually sold for £11,000.
The artwork was donated anonymously but was signed by Banksy.
Following the opening of a Tesco Express on Cheltenham Road in Bristol a series of riots rocked the city.
Police had raided a squat opposite the Tesco store saying they had intelligence that petrol bombs were being made there.
In the way only Banksy can, he produced a commemorative poster featuring a Tesco Value petrol bomb.
The prints, which also featured on Banksy's website, were sold in aid of the People's Republic of Stoke's Croft - an area which previously had featured few chain stores.
At the time, Chris Chalkey from the group, said the poster highlighted the "extremely important" issue of "corporate power".
The 2009 Banksy vs Bristol Museum exhibition was an incredible success for Bristol with queues stretching around the block for weeks.
But the artist also used the chance to help out a branch of Oxfam which sits opposite the museum which housed the show.
According to one worker at the store, Michael O'Grady, a man came into the shop "with two big boxes of Banksy stickers" before the exhibition began.
"He said he was a trader and that the market had fallen out for these stickers and could we use them?
"We thought we'd use them as a promotional device later in the year but then, obviously, the Banksy exhibition has happened.
"It's been an absolutely fantastic thing for the shop."