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Death threat to youth centre leader who took Banksy art

By Claire Hayhurst

A youth centre leader who removed a Banksy artwork from a wall said he has been issued with death threats.

David Stinchcombe MBE (58), leader of Broad Plain & Riverside Youth Project, first spotted the street artist's latest officially confirmed piece, Mobile Lovers, on Monday.

The piece, showing two lovers embracing while checking their phones, was attached to a plank of wood screwed onto a wall in Bristol.

Mr Stinchcombe removed the piece, using a crowbar, on Tuesday, when he heard its authenticity had been confirmed.

Visitors were confronted with an empty doorway and told to return to the youth club, where they could view the work – with donations optional.

Mr Stinchcombe, who eventually plans to sell Mobile Lovers to raise funds for the financially struggling project, revealed he had been threatened over his actions.

"I've had death threats," Mr Stinchcombe said. "I said to them, 'If you want to threaten me come down to the club and do it in the boxing ring'.

"I had to make a decision as to whether to allow it to stay there and come in today to find it gone or damaged, or take it yesterday and think what can we do with this to make it a bit of a reality and be good for the community."

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