Flanking the boat-cum-club Thekla, Banksy’s Grim Reaper, has long been one of Bristol’s best-loved pieces of street art. Soon, Banksy enthusiasts will be able to admire it from the comfort of their local museum, M Shed. Art Daily reports that the club’s owners, the music promoter DHP Family, decided to cut the Banksy piece from the hull while the boat was in dry dock on August 8—a maintenance routine which only takes place once every 8 years. The team of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives will assess the conservation needs of the Grim Reaper. It is expected to go on go on public view in the next few weeks. “It is great that we have been able to work with Bristol City council to display this iconic Bristol artwork,” commented DHP Family’s George Akins. “We really wanted to make sure, that although it is being removed from its intended setting, people could still see it for free and will now get a better view of it.”
“To be clear we have no intention of selling the Banksy,” he added. “We just wanted to preserve the piece of art before it deteriorated too much and we wouldn’t have had another opportunity to do this for a further 8 years.” Banksy, who was born in Bristol in 1974, is nothing short of a local hero. Over 10,000 people visited Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery last weekend to seeMobile Lovers, a piece spray painted on a doorway near the youth club Broad Plain Boys Club. Mobile Lovers was initially removed by the club leader, who hoped to use it to raise money for the organization. But, according to the BBC, Bristol City Council claimed that the artwork was on its land, and that it was thus entitled to have the piece installed in the museum for safekeeping. Hoping to clarify the artist’s intentions, a council representative attempted to contact Banksy—who has yet to respond.