Banksy gets his hook into Ely Cathedral

Banksy gets his hook into Ely Cathedral

An extraordinary art work by the renowned street artist, Banksy, will be on temporary display in Ely Cathedral during the summer months. 

The Grappling Hook (2017) is an original piece signed by the artist, and is presented in the form of a large crucifix with 3 steel grapples and over 4 metre length of knotted rope.  

The ‘Grappling Hook’ is widely acknowledged as one of the most iconic pieces to emerge from Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem and  is known to have been created as a powerful statement highlighting the struggles surrounding the West Bank and the division of the two most holy cities in Christianity. 

Banksy refers to the piece as a “military grade grappling hook and combined spiritual ornament”. As well as the Grappling Hook, the specially created hand sprayed box will also be on display. It has been described as arresting, moving and polemic and ranks alongside the artist’s most significant works. 

As controversial as it may seem for a Cathedral to be displaying such work, Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely commented – “The Cathedral provides a wonderful backdrop for art and sculpture. Obviously there are strong statements associated with many of Bansky’s works, and we hope many will come to see this piece and draw their own interpretation and meaning from it. We are not displaying it to create any political statement, although it is borne out of 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”.

 The Grappling Hook has been kindly loaned to the Cathedral by a specialist  collector who wishes to remain anonymous and will be in situ from mid July until the end of September. Please visit the website for further details –

Press release from Ely Cathedral

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