Entertainment Banksy artwork picked up in a museum gift shop found to be an original
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A lucky customer who bought a Banksy print from a museum gift shop for 'less than $300' is expected to pocked $150,000 from its sale after it turned out to be an original planted by the mystery artist.
The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought the work in Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003.
The artwork is a screen print of Banksy's, Love Is In The Air which depicts a masked man throwing a bouquet of flowers in place of a molotov cocktail.
Unbeknownst to the buyer, it was in fact number 450 of 500 limited editions printed by the artist in 2003.
The artwork is going to auction online through Smith and Singer auctioneers with bidding closing on May 13, 2021 at 10pm AEST.
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Smith and Singer's art catalogue said Love Is In The Air is one of his 'most recognisable'.
'It is one of Banksy's most recognisable images and has been widely appropriated'.
'The image also appears as a large stencil that Banksy painted on a wall near Beit Sahour, a Palestinian town on the West Bank.'
Bansksy's Pest Control authentication company have certified the artwork, it is not signed by Banksy but is stamped and inscribed 'Banksy/ 450/500'.
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Mr Smith told thethat his company believed that Banksy himself was in Australia in 2003 and that he had personally delivered the artworks to the MCA Store.
The Love Is In The Air print is expected to break Banksy's current Australian auction record of $55,000 set in May 2020 for a piece called No Ball Games (green) according to Mr Smith.
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Other versions of the artwork have recently been fetching way over the estimated prices as they go to auction around the world.
Edition number 51 of the same work was sold by Sotheby's in London in September last year for $305,000 hammer price.
Sotheby's also sold edition number 231 for the same price after it was estimated to sell for up to $126,000.
The auction catalogue said, 'Banksy continues to unsettle and confound.'
'His paintings, prints and political gestures are subtly on point with a hammer blow to authority and a middle finger to art-world pretension.'
Banksy's identity has never been revealed to the public which remains one of the art worlds biggest mysteries.
Many have speculated that musician Robert Del Naja is Banksy, and he toured Australia in 2003 with his band Massive Attack.
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