Workmen have resorted to drastic measures to save a Banksy from destruction by removing it from the side of a ship – with a blow torch.
The renowned street artist painted the ‘Grim Reaper’ on to ship, and nightclub, Thekla, around ten years ago but exposure to the elements has caused ongoing deterioration.
The situation has got so bad owner and music promoter DHP Family have decided to remove the piece from the steel hull of the Bristol based ship, while it is in dry dock for renovation.
The artwork, which depicts the Grim Reaper at the wheel of a ship, will be passed on to the M Shed museum in Bristol where it will go on display to members of the public.
George Akins, of DHP Family, said: “It is great that we have been able to work with Bristol City Council to display this iconic Bristol artwork.
“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.
“We have no intention of selling the Banksy, 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 eight years.”
Thekla is currently in dry dock for renovation and general maintenance, which only happens every eight years.
It will return to its former position on Bristol’s harbour on Monday, September 8.
Bristol Mayor George Ferguson added: “I have so enjoyed watching Banksy move from zero to hero.
“His Grim Reaper has been one of Bristol Harbour’s more familiar residents on the hull of the famous Thekla nightclub for the past ten years or so.
“I would like to thank the DHP Family for entrusting the threatened work to the safe hands of the Bristol Museums team so it can now be preserved for future generations.
“I much look forward to getting a closer look once the necessary conservation work is complete and it goes on public show at M Shed.”
The artwork is currently being assessed by the Bristol Museums team for its “conservation needs” and to look at a means of display, before it goes on public show at the M Shed in the coming weeks.