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Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Max 19°C | Min 12°C

Youth Club Laughing All The Way To The Banksy

Wednesday, 27th August 2014 10:56

A Banksy artwork which was painted on a wall outside a cash-strapped youth club has been sold to a private collector for £403,000.

Mobile Lovers, showing a couple embracing while checking their phones, appeared on a doorway next to the Broad Plain Working With Young People club in April.

Dennis Stinchcombe, owner of the club, told Sky News he received death threats over his decision to sell the work after the elusive artist wrote him a letter confirming it was his stencil.

Mr Stinchcombe moved Mobile Lovers into a corridor and invited members of the public to come and view it, with donations optional.

He told Sky's Eamonn Holmes he made the decision because he felt the work was at risk from being stolen.

"It did get silly. There were a couple of death threats that I had, people were offering silly sums of money," he said.

Mr Stinchcombe welcomed the sale of the piece and thanked Banksy for saving the youth club, which has operated in Bristol for 120 years.

"We are incredibly lucky to have Banksy donate their piece to our club," he told a packed press conference at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.

"Within 12 months we could have well been closed, which means 120 years of exceptional youth work in Bristol would have been lost.

"That would have been a tragedy for Bristol."

The club was facing closure earlier this year and required £120,000 to survive - until the Banksy stencil arrived next to the club's gates.