Cheque treasure hunt at art gallery

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.

Ms Sorensen told the Press Association: "I put the phone down and went and had a look (around the gallery) with colleagues and couldn't see anything.

"It's not something we know about and we can't confirm or deny whether it's a hoax or not."

Ms Sorensen said the director of the gallery had made contact with Mr Georgeson after news of his offer broke.

"He (Mr Georgeson) says he has placed something in the gallery, but that it is not underneath or on any artwork so there is no need for anyone to touch the actual exhibits," Ms Sorensen added.