Guerrilla artist Banksy has launched a fighting fund for rioters protesting against a new supermarket – by selling a poster of a lit petrol bomb in a Tesco bottle.
The anonymous street stenciler has produced limited edition prints of a brown bottle emblazoned in the food giant’s blue and white ‘value’ colours.
The smoking device – also known as a Molotov cocktail – is stuffed with a flaming rag and labelled ‘Tesco Value Petrol Bomb’.
Banksy will put the work up for sale just days after bloody battles over a new Tesco Express in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol – the artist’s home city.
It is believed profits from the #5 poster will go towards funding the legal defence for more than 30 rioters arrested following the two nights of violence.
Details of the drawing were released on the Banksy Forum website today, accompanied by a statement of behalf of the illusive artist.
It also appeared on his own website – a sign the work is authentic.
The statement read: ”After the recent Tesco riots in Bristol, Banksy has produced this fine commemorative souvenir poster.
”It’s available exclusively from Bristol’s Anarchist Bookfair this coming Saturday. All proceeds go to the Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft and associates.”
The Tesco Express, in Cheltenham Road, Bristol, opened on April 15 despite claims it was not welcome in the largely independent area of Stokes Croft.
Violence flared six days later after a huge police operation confiscated petrol bombs from a squat opposite the store.
The Tesco was smashed up and forced to shut, as masked rioters daubed ”closing down sale” on its windows.
There were more running battles one week later – which saw police and protestors injured and more than 30 arrested.
The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, a campaigning community group in the city, confirmed it had been contact by Banksy’s ”associates”.
Posting on their website, the group said: ”We were contacted on Tuesday by Banksy’s associates advising that he has produced a poster to be exclusively sold at the Bookfair – as a fundraiser for local groups in the Stokes Croft area who support local art, squatting and those arrested and harassed as a result of the recent Stokes Croft disturbances.
”We understand the ‘associates’ will be using any funds raised to support Stokes Croft defendants and those in housing need.”
Banksy began work as a graffiti artist in Bristol in the early 1990s, but has become a household name in the last decade – grossing millions from his work.
The artist was nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for his film Exit Through the Gift Shop, but failed to turn up to the glittering ceremony.
He already has a permanent piece of art on Cheltenham Road in Stokes Croft – with a wall mural of a teddy bear throwing a Molotov cocktail at police.
The piece is titled ‘Mild Mild West’.
His latest work will be sold outside 80 Hamilton House, in Stokes Croft, Bristol from 10.30am to 6.30pm.
Avon and Somerset Police declined to comment on the sale.