Murals believed to have been created by the Bristol street artist Banksy on walls in Detroit, and in Bethlehem are to be put up for auction in September.
The artist’s work, ‘Donkey Documents’, depicts a donkey having its papers checked by a soldier and was left on a barrier dividing the West Bank from Israel in 2007. The other piece, ‘I Remember When All This Was Trees’, was left on the wall of a derelict Detroit factory in 2010. Together both works could fetch as much £638,000, or $1 million.
The Detroit work is owned by a small non-profit gallery and is being sold to raise funds for community arts schemes. Auction house Julien’s has not disclosed who removed the second work from its original location or who will benefit from the sale of the piece. According to Julien’s, “the detached mural… is the largest and most significant intact Banksy mural in existence from his visit to Israel” reported BBC News.
The mural, Julien’s continued, will be displayed at an unspecified location in London before it hits the auction block in Los Angeles on 30 September. Removing street art by Banksy and others from their original locations is a controversial act that some claim robs local communities of important art and a socio-cultural statement and further diminishes the artwork in question.
The famous artist had recently been on the move, after graffiti stencils on concrete rubble popping up in Gaza criticising the ‘world’s largest open-air prison’ – include an image of a crying figure wearing a head scarf, a dark scene of children playing on a fairground ride, and a white kitten licking its paws.