The internationally renowned street artist Banksy has passed a personal letter to the Broad Plain Boys’ Club in Bristol sanctioning the disputed work ‘Mobile Lovers’ as a donation to the club.
“Dear Dennis, I hope this finds you well. Banksy wrote, As you know I recently painted on a doorway near the club.” I do not usually admit “committing criminal damage” but added that as “a great admirer of the work done at the club” I would be “chuffed” if this letter would help the club claim the picture. “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,’” he added.
The mural which shows a couple lovingly embracing, as they text on their phones, appeared in a doorway in Clement Street in the city, last month. The leader of the Broad Plain Boys’ Club removed the work before vandals could get to it and took it indoors for safety. They later planned to sell the work to raise funds for the struggling youth club. The value of the mural, estimated at £800,000, soon became a dispute and the Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson had the art taken to the Bristol Museum. He claimed that as it was painted on a wall owned by Bristol Council it belonged to the city of Bristol.
Dennis Stinchcombe the manager of the youth club, who found the note stated, “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. He added; “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.” The letter has now been authenticated as the hand of the elusive local artist.