Banksy's 'Glitter Gorilla' goes on sale to raise money for Bristol communities

The piece dates back to 2001. Credit: ITV News West Country

An early Banksy artwork has been removed from the wall of a community centre in Bristol and put up for auction.

The piece, called Gorilla In A Pink Mask, appeared on the side of the Jalalabad Islamic Centre in the Eastville area in 2001.

It was accidentally painted over in 2011 by the building's owner, who did not realise who had created it.

The gorilla had to be restored after it was painted over by the owner of the building in 2011 Credit: ITV News

Last month, the piece was removed from the centre by street art restoration company Exposed Walls.

Saeed Ahmed, owner of the centre, now plans to sell it at auction to raise funds to invest back into the Bristol community.

The artwork, which is also known as Glitter Gorilla, is 5ft tall and depicts the animal holding a pink masquerade mask.

Banksy pieces often sell for millions. In 2019 Mediterranean Sea View raised £2.2million for Bethlehem rehab charity. Credit: PA Images

A spokesman for Exposed Walls said: "This was a project to help furnish the mosque as well as donate money to several charities on behalf of Exposed Walls and the Jalalabad Islamic Centre.

"It's very important to us that the money goes back into the community.

"Art enriches lives and it's a part of our mission to ensure that it is well looked after and all restoration was intricately done."

Bidding for the piece is open online ahead of being auctioned on 17 November.

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