The Art of Banksy curators have this week revealed that, since the announcement of the brand-new media city exhibition, an anonymous person got in touch offering an exclusive piece for the exhibition launch.
Originally sprayed on the side of a house in Nailsea near Bristol in either 1999 or 2000, Leopard and Barcode was destined to be lost forever when the house was scheduled for demolition in 2010.
That was until a local architect spotted its significance and got permission to save the artwork, spending a day chiselling it off the wall.
The rare work then spent many years wrapped in a blanket under a bed in the owners spare room, being shown only once at the local school where his wife worked. Organisers are delighted to include the piece in the coming exhibition.
“It’s a privilege to be able to show this rare early work,” commented a curator of The Art of Banksy. “It comes with a fascinating story and it’s great that people will have the opportunity to see it again.”
In keeping with the ethos of having street art free to view by the public, the rare Banksy Leopard and Barcode will be displayed in the foyer of The Art of Banksy, giving the public the opportunity to come and enjoy it free of charge.
Created in association with HOME, The Art of Banksy has gathered 145 iconic pieces from private collections across the globe to create the world’s largest touring collection of authenticated and unique Banksy artworks.
The exhibition now gives the North of England the chance to experience the artist's most well-known works, alongside those rarely seen by the public, all on loan from private collectors.
The Art of Banksy launches at Media City on Friday 21st October.