An Antiques Roadshow hopeful who had stolen a Banksy design tried to get it valued on the show, only to end up getting told off by art expert Rupert Maas.
The piece in question showcases a classic Banksy-style cartoon rat holding onto a power drill, and had been found at the Saltdean Lido in Brighton. The guest seller told Rupert Maas he had taken the design from a wall without permission and had come onto the show in the hopes of finding out how much it was worth. He explained:
I used to live in Brighton in the late 90s, early 2000s, and I was walking along the Brighton seafront when I saw it on the Lido.
It looked loose, I went over, pulled it off basically.
Here’s how that played out:
So with a certificate of authenticity, which the seller was refused, he would have been able to fetch up to £20,000 for the piece, which would have been a serious result considering he just stole it off the wall.
Here’s how Twitter responded to the scene:
The cheek of nicking a Banksy and then going on the #antiquesroadshow to get it valued.
— Kate Waugh (@katewaugh) October 18, 2020
#antiquesroadshow that Poor guy with a Banksy and no provenance letter, his Poor disappointed face, worthless without a letter, 20.000 with, ouch!
— Dr A. Heuer (@Dr_Plinius) October 18, 2020
— S-J The Imp 🎃 (@SJtheImp) October 18, 2020
— Emmajane37 (@emmajane37) October 18, 2020
— Lyndsey Mayhew 🌈 (@LyndseyMayhew) October 18, 2020
So… Banksy gave the public an artwork in Brighton and he nicked it?? #AntiquesRoadshow
— Michael (@Michael97023070) October 18, 2020
Geez, whatever happened to finders keepers, losers weepers? Yeah OK he’s essentially ripped a public artwork from a wall in Brighton (which he says was “loose”) and is hoping to make tens of thousands of pounds from it, but who’s to say it wouldn’t have been removed or painted over by the council by this point? Not to mention ruined by some other graffiti can-toting vandals who have no idea what they’re doing?
I guess his only options now are to keep the unofficial Banksy piece for himself or give it to a gallery in Brighton where you could argue it belongs. Failing that, he could also flog it on eBay for considerably less than £20,000, but hey, he got it for free! It’s all net positive as far as he’s concerned.
For a look at Banksy’s genius suggestion as to what should happen to the former Edward Colston statue in Bristol, click HERE.