The City Council has responded following confirmation that the ‘hula hoop girl’ artwork which appeared in Nottingham last week is in fact a Banksy after an image appeared on the artist’s official Instagram page.

“It’s amazing that Banksy has now confirmed the artwork as his,” said a Council spokesperson.

“We obviously don’t know why he chose Nottingham but we’re a city famous for our rebels, like Robin Hood of course. The fact that the artwork features a bike could be a reference to the Raleigh factory that used to be nearby, famous for its role in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, the novel by local author Alan Sillitoe and iconic 1960 film starring Albert Finney.

“We took steps on Thursday to protect the artwork with a temporary perspex cover. Now that we know it’s a genuine Banksy, we will be taking advice on what should happen next.

“The artwork is obviously going to cause a great deal of interest and excitement not just in Nottingham but further afield. We know people will be tempted to come and see it for themselves but we need to avoid large gatherings during the current pandemic so we would urge everyone to please stay away to protect themselves and others.”