The Mayor of Bristol is hopeful that Banksy's Mobile Lovers piece will be on display at the city's museum over the Easter weekend.
In a statement, George Ferguson said:
“I’m delighted pleased that Dennis, who is a good man, has made a tough judgement call and has turned over the artwork to us, via the police.
"No-one’s the bad guy here; we simply need to buy time to establish where ownership lies, what Banksy’s intentions might be, if we were to get some signals, and how best we can move forward.
“I have established with our legal and museum services that we can move ahead on this basis so that, hopefully, it will be on show for people to enjoy at the City Museum and Art Gallery over the Easter weekend. It certainly would have been a cultural crime if this artwork had been lost to the city.
“I’m also asking if Banksy could provide a limited-edition print which could be sold in aid of the club.
"In the meantime we shall be working with a local publisher to produce postcards and prints for sale in aid of Broad Plain Boys' Club. And I have asked for a collection box at the museum for them. This hopefully will represent a win-win for everyone.”
David Stinchcombe, owner of a youth project that holds the latest Banksy, hopes to raise thousands of pounds by selling it, providing funds to help it stay open.
Dozens of people have paid to view 'Mobile Lovers' at Broad Plain & Riverside Youth Project in Bristol, which needs to raise £120,000 to survive.
"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 be good for the community," he said.
"People can come and see it and if they want to put a donation into our 120 appeal they are most welcome.
"If I can make this work for our building and our appeal then, Banksy, you've done an amazing job and what a gem you are.
Mr Stinchcombe said he would seek advice as to whether to sell the piece at auction or directly to a museum or gallery.
The Mayor of Bristol said the new Banksy artwork belongs to the city council and removing it would be "stealing" as the row over the picture continues.
George Ferguson said he's "pretty sure" the removed Banksy "belongs to us" and "on the face of it would be theft".
A police officer and a PCSO were also seen at the boy's club, but a police spokesman said: "There have been no formal reports and there is no police investigation at the moment.
"We visited in an informal capacity following media and public interest. We offered advice on crime prevention and any issues which may arise from a possible sale."
The manager of the youth club who has laid claim to the latest Banksy artwork said yesterday he has received death threats after he "took an opportunity" to save his struggling youth service by removing the artwork.
Dennis Stinchcombe MBE, leader of struggling Broad Plain and Riverside Youth Project, said he had taken around 40 phone calls from angry street art fanatics.
He said: "People have been calling up and telling us we have no right to take it down, that it is public and we are stealing.
"People have even said they are going to come down here and sort us out, all sorts of nasty things to us. We have even had death threats."
He said if he hadn't taken the artwork "someone else would have and I wasn't going to let that happen".
Bristol City Council is yet to comment, and local police have not opened an investigation following the removal of the work.
CCTV has filmed a group of mystery men installing the latest Banksy art piece in Bristol in the early hours of Sunday morning.
After arriving in a white van, the group, dressed in high visibility jackets, brought out a blue canvas and walked around the side of the van.
The new Banksy street art has been dubbed 'Mobile Lovers' in Bristol and has already been taken away by the local Boys Club to prevent vandalism - and replaced by a replica.
A youth club leader has removed a Banksy mural hours after it was located to central Bristol. Mobile Lovers was posted to the street artist's website on Monday but its location was not disclosed.
Dennis Stinchcombe, the leader of the Broad Plain & Riverside Youth Project, whose property is where the Banksy was found, said: "I was approached by somebody who knows Banksy very well.
"We need £120,000 to keep going and our fundraising appeal has so far only brought a few thousand pounds. Now we've ended up with a Banksy on our doorstep. It is a dream come true. I'm absolutely buzzing.
"If anyone wants to see it they can come in here and put a donation in the box if they feel like it."
A Banksy artwork has been removed from the wall it was screwed to - just hours after it was tracked to a location in central Bristol.
Mobile Lovers was posted to the celebrated street artist's website on Monday but its whereabouts was not disclosed. It was later tracked down to Clement Street.
But at 4pm, a group of men from the financially struggling Broad Plain & Riverside Youth Project - situated just beside the piece - used crowbars to remove it.
A sign appeared on the boarded up doorway stating: "NOTICE: The new Banksy piece is being held by our club to prevent any vandalism being done. You are free to come and view but a small donation will be asked of you. Thanks."
Dennis Stinchcombe MBE, 58, leader of the youth project, said he had been urged to take the piece by a friend of Banksy.
A mystery piece by Banksy that appeared online yesterday has been found by ITV News.
The mural, which would be Banksy's first official work since his New York 'residency' last year, depicts a couple embracing while looking over each other's shoulders at their phones.
The piece is thought to be on Clement Street, just off the M32, and next to the entrance of Broad Plain Boys' Club in central Bristol.
Mysterious new mural in secret location is set to spark a nationwide search by the street artist's fans.Read the full story ›
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