The BBC is reporting that video of Banksy, the elusive street artist, has been captured by surveillance video outside of his latest installation.
In the CCTV video (which can be seen here on our Yahoo! News UK site), two people dressed as workmen are seen emerging from a white van with equipment early Sunday morning, just hours before the new Banksy work was discovered nearby. Interestingly, another piece of artwork recently found and thought to be a Banksy, comments on the surveillance state and was found in Cheltenham, home of the British intelligence agency, GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters).
His latest piece appeared near the Broad Plains Boys Club in Bristol, England. It depicts an embracing couple whose faces are illuminated as they stare at their cell phones. An image of the Mobile Lovers appeared on Banksy’s website on Monday.
The CCTV camera was actually put in place by the club to deter vandalism, but its footage is now thought to perhaps hold one of only a few images in existence of the world famous graffiti artists.
Not long after the street artist’s work was discovered on a doorway, it was taken down. Dennis Stinchcombe, Manager of the Broad Plain Boys Club, removed the art with a crowbar and told BBC News, “I think Banksy’s given it to us as a gift…Because it’s left out there for somebody to do something with and I think I’m doing something with it.” It’s believed that Banksy was born in Bristol. The 120-year-old club, which helps nurture and care for local children by providing a variety of activities, is in financial trouble and needs £120,000 (over $200,000) to remain open.
In place of the removed street art, the club posted a sign that read, “NOTICE The new Banksy piece is being held in our club to prevent any vandilism [sic] or damage being done. You are free to come and view but a small donation will be asked of you. Thanks.” It’s an action that is being criticized by fans of the artist who say that it is public art and should be viewable by the public.
The Mobile Lovers were installed on a piece of wood and attached to a door prompting Gordon Powell, a club youth worker to tell the BBC, "There's a massive wall he [Banksy] could have done it on but he didn't, so we think he did it to help us raise the money." The Bristol City Council has said that they are not “100 percent sure of the ownership of the wall where the artwork appeared.