Missing Banksy displayed at school
A Banksy artwork which disappeared from a building wall has been exhibited in a school - after being hidden under a bed for four years.
Leopard and Barcode, one of the artist's celebrated early stencil works, had been situated on the side of a house on Pembroke Road, Bristol.
It went missing from the property in August 2010, during extensive building work, and its location remained a mystery to art fans and local residents.
But today the piece was back in the public gaze after being put on display at Nailsea School in Somerset for an open evening.
The piece was brought to the 1,200-pupil school by an unnamed teacher, who had kept it under her bed wrapped in a blanket since 2010.
It was taken off the wall in Clifton by the teacher's husband, an architect, after the owner of the property wanted to demolish it and rebuild.
"My husband was working on a building project on Pembroke Road and the Banksy was on one of the walls," the teacher said.
"It was going to be covered over or destroyed so he sought permission from the owner to remove it and keep it himself.
"The owner agreed so one afternoon he spent four hours cutting it out. We wrapped it in a blanket and have kept it under our bed ever since.
"The sole reason for presenting it this evening is to showcase Nailsea School's open evening, and to raise awareness of the school in the Bristol and north Somerset area."
The teacher, who asked to remain nameless, said her husband had to cut a four-inch channel around the Banksy and hand chisel it out of the wall.
It will now be placed in a secure and secret location, she added.
"We don't know whether we will sell it, we're not looking to at the moment and don't know how valuable it would be," she said.
"It is an early Banksy, it is one of his original stencil works. It might be a nice legacy for us to pass to our children.
"Our families don't know about it, so it will be a shock when they see any publicity from tonight."
The resin piece shows a bar code on wheels with a leopard facing head-on.
Prospective parents of students at the mixed secondary school will be able to view the piece in the art department.
Banksy made other works with the same leopard stencil, some of which were later sold at auction.
One piece, numbered 1/5 and inscribed 'LA' to the reverse, featured in a Banksy exhibition called Existencilism in 2002.
It fetched £75,650 at auction in March 2012.
However, the artwork displayed in the school is believed to be an earlier artwork, possibly sprayed in 1999 or 2000.