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Although its definitely not the first time we’ve seen such an act, Banky’s Anarchy Rat piece is now for sale, completely removed from a wall in Berlin to accommodate the collection of an art connoisseur. The piece depicts one of Banksy’s iconic rats, paint brushed with an anarchy “A”. An upside-down exclamation mark and the remains of three stencilled cowboy heads are additions by street artists from Berlin and could be removed by successful bidders so they wished.
The piece was situated on the wall of a building at the military graveyard on Kleine Rosenthaler Strabe in Berlin’s Mitte district. It was executed in 2003 as part of Banksy’s Tour of Berlin when he was in town, to take part in the Backjumps Live Issue Urban Art Festival in the summer of 2003. The owner acquired the piece from the District Council (the owners of the property) before the council was set to “remove” it from the building, making it one of Berlin’s only existing Banksy murals left, which have not been destroyed by housing redevelopment or the council’s anti-graffiti squad. After reaching an agreement with the City of Berlin, a renowned art conservator was commissioned to remove the piece of wall to the highest professional standards (see link 2) and then mount it on a aluminium honeycomb board to ensure stability – (the same procedure used in classic art restoration when conservating ancient fresks for example). N.b. an expertise from the art conservator and the official authorisation from the City of Berlin will of course be disclosed to the new owner.
The auction can be found here.