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An art gallery is at the centre of an off-the-wall treasure hunt – after an artist claimed to have hidden an £8,000 cheque among its exhibits.

Milton Keynes Gallery said it had no prior knowledge of Tomas Georgeson’s apparent attempt to boost its visitor numbers by concealing the cheque – with the payee left blank – in one of its public spaces.

Mr Georgeson, who has previously worked as a volunteer at the 300-square-metre gallery, hopes the potential windfall will boost interest in local art and break down a “disconnect” between the visitor attraction and the public.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “It won’t bounce if somebody finds the cheque and cashes it. I’m prepared to live with the consequences of that happening, and I could only be prepared if I thought it would really do some good.”

The Buckinghamshire-based artist is reportedly planning to collect the cheque on March 1 if it has not been found.

Milton Keynes Gallery’s communications director, Katharine Sorensen, was only made aware of the artist’s claims when she was contacted by a reporter.

What a great PR stunt and cheapat £8k, if the gregory is found ofcourse! Probably behind the one of the don’t touch paintings.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk