Cambridgeshire

Banksy 'Grappling Hook' goes on show at Ely Cathedral

hook sculpture Image copyright Ely Cathedral
Image caption The sculpture has gone on display in Ely Cathedral until the end of September

A signed Banksy sculpture depicting a large crucifix with hooks has gone on display in the centre of Ely Cathedral.

Called The Grappling Hook, the artwork was created in 2017 as a "powerful statement" on the political and religious struggles in the West Bank.

The piece, which is on loan from a specialist collector, will remain on public show until the end of September.

The Very Rev Mark Bonney, the Dean of Ely, said the sculpture would "create a particular presence and challenge".

The Grappling Hook is a crucifix, with three steel grapples, attached to a 14ft 5in long (4.4m) piece of knotted rope.

Image copyright Bonhams
Image caption The Grappling Hook comes in a cardboard box with stencilled artwork on the sides

It comes in a large cardboard box, with religious symbols stencilled on the sides.

Banksy has described the work as a "military grade grappling hook and combined spiritual ornament".

The Grappling Hook was originally acquired from Banksy's Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.

The building was designed as a "political statement" to "attract attention to the struggles of the region".

Image copyright Bonhams
Image caption The Grappling Hook (2017) by Banksy includes a length of rope and three steel grapples

According to Bonhams auctioneers, the sculpture sold at auction to a private collector in April for £83,306.

The Very Rev Bonney said: "The Cathedral provides a wonderful backdrop for art and sculpture.

"Obviously there are strong statements associated with many of Banksy's works, and we hope many will come to see this piece and draw their own interpretation and meaning from it."

He added: "We are not displaying it to create any political statement, although it is borne out of a very troubled political situation - but we cannot either escape the fact that Jesus' crucifixion had a very strong political element to it too.

"I think this work will create a particular presence and challenge in a building devoted to the Christian faith".

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