Banksy’s iconic Kissing Coppers mural painted in 2004 has achieved $575,000 (£345,000) at a US auction held yesterday. The mural was removed from the wall of the Prince Albert pub on Trafalgar Street in Brighton last year. The owner of the building claimed he would use the funds towards essential repairs at the pub and replaced it with a replica covered in perspex.
American buyer, the notorious art dealer Stephan ‘The Hacker’ Keszler reportedly paid £120,000 for the work consigned to auction. The artist Banksy receives no payment from these sales and refuses to authenticate works taken from their site specific locations. Miami Auctions also offered two other Banksy works. Bandaged Heart and Crazy Horse Car Door, completed during Banksy’s New York City residency, they were unsold.
Keszler a New York art dealer has sold 11 original Banksy pieces in the last three years. He said that he was happy with the price this one achieved. “If you happen to own a wall which Banksy has used as a canvas for one of his art works – I should imagine you are perfectly within your rights to hack it out and sell it”. The life-sized black-and-white graffiti work of two policemen kissing was sold to an anonymous buyer in Miami.