After being pried from a wall by crowbar, Banksy's newest work is safe at last. The Smartphone-themed stencil, Mobile Lovers, went up in Bristol early Sunday morning and was shortly removed by the Broad Plains Boys Club, a youth organization down the street. When the head of the Club, Dennis Stinchcombe, started receiving death threats, he decided to turn Mobile Lovers over to the police. Bristol mayor George Ferguson said the piece would go on display at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
Stinchcombe originally removed Banksy's work from a wall on Clement Street in order to protect it. He planned to sell the piece, hoping to raise the necessary funds to keep the Club open. When his actions were met with outrage, however, he decided to give Mobile Lovers to the police.
Ferguson hopes to have Mobile Lovers on display at the Bristol Museum by Easter weekend. He told The Guardian, "It certainly would have been a cultural crime if this artwork had been lost to the city."
At the same time, Ferguson remains sympathetic to the Club and has asked Banksy's people to create limited-edition prints, which would be sold to benefit the Club. He is also in the process of creating postcards for the same intention, and he plans to install a collection box in the Bristol Museum. "This hopefully will represent a win-win for everyone," Ferguson said.
While Banksy's work heads to the museum, a screenprint of Mobile Lovers has been installed in its original location.