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  1. ITV Report

Giant art display made up of 69 bicycle wheels stolen from Bath street

Materials for the display were sourced by a local artist, a bike shop, and a recycling centre. Credit: BPM Media

A giant art display of 69 red bicycle wheels has mysteriously disappeared from a street in Bath.

The huge textile display took two vans to install on George Street and was created to draw attention to the level of air pollution in the city.

Police are investigating the suspected theft but currently have no lines of enquiry.

The wheels were installed to raise awareness of the issue of air pollution. Credit: BPM Media

The eye catching exhibition had been in place less than two weeks before it was noticed missing on 4 October. Creator Alison Harper says she is "immobilised" by the news of its theft.

It's like a piece of me has gone. I have been a bit immobilised the last week and its still not sunk in that someone would do this.

I feel a sense of loss. They had been a part of my life for 18 months and so much work went into them.

– Alison Harper, Textile artist

Ms Harper, who has been living in Batheaston for 35 years, collected the 69 bicycle wheels.

She coloured them red and embellished them with cloth and yarn before installing the artwork with the help of 18 members of Transition Larkhall - a community group.

It took three months to build the piece. Credit: BPM Media

Joanna Wright, now Cabinet Member for Transport Services, commissioned the piece before she was elected. Ms Wright says she wanted an artwork which would visually represent the issue of air pollution in Bath:

"I was very shocked to hear that they had been stolen. Obviously people just don't want to know that air pollution kills people.

"It's three months of hard work gone, there was such a huge effort behind the art work."

Textiles artist Alison Harper constructed the piece. Credit: BPM Media

The location of the display, George Street, is one of the city's hot spots for high levels of air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide created from vehicle exhausts.

Artist Alison Harper is determined to turn the theft into a positive.

It won't be possible to do all 69 wheels again as that was so much work but I have three white ones to signify lives affected by air pollution and perhaps I can make six or ten. I will not be stopping, these people can't stop me. I want to turn this into something positive.

– Alison Harper, Textile artist

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said:

"A sculpture with a message for pollution - 69 bicycle wheels tied with red string - has been taken from the corner of George Street and Gay Street.

"This happened between October 2 and October 4.

"There are no further lines of enquiry and the matter has been filed, pending any new information."

Anyone who has information is asked to contact police.