LONDON (Reuters) - A painting attributed to cult graffiti artist Banksy fetched more than 200,000 pounds in an online auction on Monday. Now the lucky owner will just have to work out how to get it home.
The work, depicting an artist in old-fashioned clothes putting the finishing touches on the word “BANKSY” spray-painted in red, was scrawled on a wall on the Portobello Road in the west London district of Notting Hill.
It was offered for sale on the e-Bay auction site and went for 208,100 pounds after attracting 69 bids.
The winner of the auction may well get the painting and the wall it is on, but they will have to calculate how to get the whole work delivered and pay to replace the wall.
“I am selling the wall because I can’t really justify owning a piece of art worth as much as it is,” said Luti Fagbenle, the owner of the property on which the graffiti is sprayed.
Fagbenle said the artist had employed people to put up scaffolding on a Sunday morning, when Portobello’s famous antiques market was in full swing, so that he could paint the work unseen. Neighbours were fobbed off when they got curious, he said.
“A few hours later the scaffolding went down. And there it was,” Fagbenle told Reuters.
Banksy’s provocative works, which include paintings on Israel’s barrier through the West Bank and commentaries on consumerism and power, have become favoured collectors’ items.
The reclusive artist, who hails from the city of Bristol, is highly sought after by the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who bought a Banksy painting at a Los Angeles auction for 200,000 pounds in 2006.
Reporting by Bate Felix and Paul Majendie; Editing by Caroline Drees