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Banksy: Bike from hula-hooping girl 'removed for safekeeping'

image captionThe original bike appeared at about the same time as the hula-hooping girl artwork

A bicycle that provided the foreground to a Banksy artwork was removed by the owner of the building the piece was painted on, a council has confirmed.

The bike went missing from its position outside a beauty salon in Nottingham over the weekend, leading to fears it had been stolen.

Resident Kyle Myatt was so disappointed by its disappearance he replaced it with a bike he bought himself.

But the council said on Monday the bike had been taken away "for safekeeping".

The Nottingham Project, an organisation aiming to "rejuvenate" the city, said on Twitter they are working with the council and the building owner to protect the artwork, including the bike.

The artwork first appeared on the building, on the junction of Rothesay Avenue and Ilkeston Road, on 13 October.

A few days later it was claimed by the elusive artist via his Instagram account.

image captionThis new bike is also a Raleigh, a brand that used to be manufactured in the area the artwork is located

The original bike - sporting the livery "Arkansas" with a twisted front wheel and missing a back one, which the girl is depicted using as a hula hoop - was locked to a street sign.

Crowds had flocked to see the artwork, and the city council protected it with a transparent cover before it was twice targeted with spray paint.

When Mr Myatt, a 23-year-old food delivery rider, saw the original bike had gone he thought it had been stolen and decided to replace it.

He told the BBC: "Banksy put us on the radar by putting it on that wall. It makes the area look a lot better."

He said he found a £20 Raleigh bike on sale on Facebook and, using an old lock he already had, he took off the back wheel and put it where the old bike had been on Sunday evening.

He added: "I just did it to see people happier.

"Even if it's not been stolen I'm still glad I replaced it as it looks like part of the Banksy.

"And at least now if someone does nick it, the original is safe."

image copyrightKyle Myatt
image captionKyle Myatt said he regularly passes the Banksy while working and wanted to restore it for everyone to enjoy again

Art fan and Nottingham resident Jasinya Powell, 39, said she too had thought it was a theft.

She said: "This shows how Banksy has seen something we don't see in this city.

"We all assumed it had been stolen, but it was just for safekeeping.

"And now it's been replaced with another iconic piece by a member of the public. It's brilliant."

image copyrightTracy Jayne
image captionResident Tracy Jayne found the artwork was missing its bike when she went to visit it on Sunday
image captionPeople queued to see the artwork

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Related Topics

  • Banksy
  • Graffiti

More on this story

  • Bike from Banksy's Nottingham hula-hooping girl vanishes