New Banksy Art Sparks Theft And Conflict
Ever one to thrive on controversy, we imagine Banksy is rubbing his hands in glee at the furore surrounding his latest piece. The controversy started after Banksy posted an image of his latest piece, a typically sardonic (if slightly hurried) image of a couple embracing whilst staring into their mobile phones.
The artist had stencilled the work on a Bristol street wall, and uploaded pictures to his website on Monday. Within hours Dennis Stinchcombe, the owner of a nearby youth club, had crowbarred the work off the wall and stashed it in his club – for 'safe keeping.' In it's place he left the following note:
We're not sure if this makes Stinchcombe a resourceful genius, or a dodgy thief. Possibly both. He told press that the youth club needed to raise £100,000 to stay open, and that he was hoping to flog the Banksy to raise the funds –
"Now we've ended up with a Banksy on our doorstep. It is a dream come true…If we hadn't taken it, someone would have ripped it from the wall or vandalised it."
Unsurprisingly, Bristol mayor George Ferguson disagrees. He's asked/ demanded that the piece be put back, suggesting that it go on display in a museum in the city while the ownership is debated.
"He [Mr Stinchcombe] has got a job to do supporting his boys' club," claimed Ferguson, "but I don't think it is in the right spirit to remove it, and I would ask that he puts it back.
"I think it was an unwise thing to do. On the face of it that would be theft, so I think he should take a lot of care."
Stinchcombe has claimed to have received death threats since removing the piece – presumably from raging street art enthusiasts too tight to fork out a quid to a local amenity. Obviously Banksy wasn't available for comment. Although we kinda feel that since he's made a bloody mint from banging on about the evils of corporate culture, he might fancy letting the youth club keep the piece…