Is Frenchay greenhouse hiding Banksy's new work?

Gazette Series: The picture of Queen Mary found in a greenhouse at Frenchay Hospital The picture of Queen Mary found in a greenhouse at Frenchay Hospital

THE next piece of work by renowned artist Banksy is thought to have been discovered in Frenchay Hospital.

The picture, of Queen Mary dressed in black holding a single red rose, was discovered on Tuesday (May 27) morning. It was found in an old greenhouse which has previously been used by the Bristol Area Stroke Foundation which met at Frenchay.

It is believed the street art was painted over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Bristolian Banksy's work is often in stencil form, like the Mary portrait.

Richard Cottle, media relations manager at North Bristol NHS Trust which owns the Frenchay Hospital site, said it was an exciting find.

“We are not saying it definitely is a Banksy but it is quite a complicated motif for someone to come up with,” he said.

The two to three foot picture, painted on the floor of the greenhouse, shows the Queen Consort in a typical Banksy style.

Mary, wife of King George V, reigned alongside her husband from 1910 and was on the throne when Frenchay first started taking patients in the 1920s. She visited the hospital in 1943, whilst living at nearby Badminton House with her cousin Mary Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort, to escape London during World War Two.

As Queen Mother, her eldest son Edward, Prince of Wales, abdicated in favour of marrying twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson and her second son Albert, who suffered a severe stammer and was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech, took the throne.

“We are seeking authenticity on whether it is or not and if it is a Banksy we want to preserve it,” added Mr Cottle. “It would be a wonderful thing for Frenchay.”

The hospital site has been vacated in the past two weeks as acute health services move to a new £430million building at Southmead Hospital. The Bristol Area Stroke Foundation's gardening club had used the greenhouse on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons to help patients' rehabilitation. The club, which was set up 35 years ago and catered for between 30 and 40 stroke survivors a week, closed in April ahead of the move to Southmead.

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