Thursday, January 17, 2008

from BBC News

Online bidding for a wall painted on by graffiti artist Banksy has closed with a final bid of £208,100.

However, neither auction site eBay nor seller Luti Fagbenle has confirmed if the bid has been accepted.

The painting is on a wall on the side of a media production firm's base in Portobello Road in west London. Mr Fagbenle owns the company.

The final bid does not include the cost of removal and repair of the wall, estimated to be about £5,000.

The artwork is now covered in plastic and shows a painter finishing off the word "Banksy".


Bobby Read, art expert at specialist insurer Hiscox, said: "Banksy is a maverick as well as a hugely talented artist. It's an intoxicating combination for buyers as this price shows.

"The Portobello Road wall is a special piece and probably the largest piece of Banksy art work to have been sold at a public auction.

"This sale poses many interesting questions for the art world. How do you move a piece of work like this, how do you display it and how do you insure it?"

Included on the auction page was a description of how Banksy managed to paint the picture without being discovered.

Broad-daylight graffiti

The posting explained: "One might guess that he would come in the middle of the night but instead he got some people to put a massive scaffolding in on a Sunday morning with Portobello Market at full swing.

"Even someone from my office saw it and thought nothing of it."

The vendor estimates that the cost of removing the painting will be about £5,000, which would have to be paid by the buyer.

There were a total of 69 bids for the painting.

2007 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists
Philip Gura, American Transcendentalism, Hill & Wang
Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815-1848, Oxford University Press
Harriet Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, Doubleday
Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA, Doubleday
Alan Weisman, The World Without Us, Thomas Dunne BKs/St. Martin’s

Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games, HarperCollins
Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao, Riverhead
Hisham Matar, In The Country of Men. Dial Press
Joyce Carol Oates, The Gravediggers Daughter. Ecco
Marianne Wiggins, The Shadow Catcher, S. & S.

Tim Jeal, Stanley: The Impossible Life Of Africa’s Greatest Explorer, Yale University Press
Hermione Lee, Edith Wharton, Knopf
Arnold Rampersad, Ralph Ellison. Knopf
John Richardson, The Life Of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932, Knopf
Claire Tomalin, Thomas Hardy, Penguin Press

Mary Jo Bang, Elegy, Graywolf
Matthea Harvey, Modern Life, Graywolf
Michael O'Brien, Sleeping and Waking, Flood
Tom Pickard, The Ballad of Jamie Allan, Flood
Tadeusz Rozewicz, New Poems, Archipelago

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