Banksy's Grim Reaper has permanent home at M Shed

Banksy Grim Reaper
Image caption The Grim Reaper will be exhibited at Bristol's M-Shed museum

An image of the Grim Reaper by street artist Banksy has found a permanent home following a restoration.

The artwork, which was painted on the side of the Thekla 10 years ago, had been on long-term loan to M Shed in Bristol by the ship's owners.

The design will now take up permanent residence at the museum from 3 June.

It was painted on the side of the Thekla, a ship and nightclub venue, just above the waterline on its steel hull. It was removed last August.

Experts found that exposure to the elements was causing ongoing deterioration to the iconic artwork.

While the Thekla was in dry dock last August, its owners removed the Grim Reaper and loaned it to Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives on a long-term basis.

It was also assessed by a conservator to prevent further damage, and was cleaned, before it went on display at M Shed.

Image caption The Thekla has been a fixture in Bristol's harbour since the early 1980s

Ray Barnett, head of collections and archives at Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives, said he was "very pleased" to have preserved the work of art.

"The Thekla and its associated art has been an established part of the Bristol docks for a long time," he added.

"Many Bristolians will be able to relate to the image but also, by association, to the contribution the Thekla has made to the city's night life."

George Akins of DHP Family, which has owned the Thekla since 2006, said its aim was to preserve the art "before it deteriorated too much".

The Thekla has been a fixture in the harbour since the early 1980s.

The venue, at East Mud Dock in the city's floating harbour, completed a 13-week refurbishment last year.

The boat has about 100,000 visitors a year, and celebrated its 30th birthday in May 2014.

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