Whoops. There's no way to get a certificate of authenticity now!
Years ago, a man says he lifted what he thought was an art piece by internationally renowned artist Banksy from a wall in Brighton, England. The piece of graffiti art looked loose in a wall, and a simple tug on it made it free.
Now, the unidentified man and the picture have surfaced, courtesy of him taking the piece to the expert appraisers on British TV show Antiques Roadshow.
The man was hoping to determine if the picture was authentic and, if yes, cash in on it. What he got instead was a reprimand from Rupert Maas, one of the show's art experts.
"I think the message here is that, if you do see a piece of graffiti out there, leave it, leave it for the public," Maas said. "I'm not lecturing you. I'm just saying, without that certificate, it's just very difficult to sell."
The man said he had tried to get an authentification in 2004 but was told they couldn't prove it was indeed a Banksy piece.
Banksy, an anonymous street artist, is well-known in England for his stenciling technique on public buildings and bridges. Most art pieces have political and humorous undertones. Some of his most famous pieces include Balloon Girl, Mobile Lovers, and Slave Labour.
He has a website that can authenticate his work. But Maas pointed out that the very fact that the public art was removed and made private may keep Banksy's representatives from issuing a certificate of authenticity.
“The thing about Banksy, and he’s not the first to have done this, of course, is that he manages his brand very, very carefully indeed,” Maas said.
It seems no one will ever know for sure. A fitting ending, yes?
Do you think this could be a real Banksy piece of art? Let us know in the comments.