The world-renowned artist Banksy has confirmed that a new graffiti piece found on a garage overnight is his.
And based on previous sales of his artwork, it could be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Which could explain why the man who owns the garage in Port Talbot, Wales has spent his time since then guarding it, reports Wales Online .
Banksy’s most recent work before Port Talbot sold for more than £1 million.
This was even after it was passed through a shredder without warning the moment it was bought at auction.
And artwork similar to the new one that appeared on the garage Ian Lewis built himself 20 years ago has sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Many pieces by the infamously secretive artist have appeared on walls across the world, with some being sold at auction.
It isn’t known how much Banksy is actually worth, but in 2013 Forbes estimated he was worth $20million.
It’s hard to immediately say exactly how much his first Welsh work could be worth, but several of his artworks have fetched huge sums at auction after being cut from where they originally appeared.
Banksy confirmed the work was genuine when he posted a video of it on his Instagram account. But before that, people had suspected it was the real thing.
In 2007, a Banksy piece called Space Girl and Bird was sold to an American bidder for £288,000 – that was 20 times its estimated value.
In 2013 another of Banksy’s graffiti pieces went under the hammer.
‘Slave Labour’ was a mural painted on the side of a Poundland in London in 2012.
The artwork was a protest against the use of sweatshops to manufacture Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics memorabilia in 2012.
In 2013 it was removed and put up for sale in Miami.
After an appeal from local residents it was taken down from sale and brought back to the UK.
It was later sold at an auction in Covent Garden for £950,000.
A Banksy mural stenciled on the wall of a Hollywood petrol station sold for £129,000 at auction, also in 2013.
The 9x8ft work, entitled Flower Girl, depicts a little girl holding a basket underneath a CCTV camera on a tall stalk.
It was snapped up by an anonymous buyer from Los Angeles.
In 2007, Sotheby’s auction house in London auctioned three works by Banksy.
One piece went for more than £102,000, and two of his other graffiti works and sold for £37,200 and £31,200, well above their estimated prices.
Banksy last appeared in the headlines when one of his artworks was shredded into strips moments after it was sold.
When a Sotheby’s auctioneer finished the bidding for a stencil of a girl holding a heart-shaped balloon, it started to slide through its frame and into a shredder.
The stunt caused shock in the room and footage of the incident quickly went viral.
The buyer of the piece, a female European collector and a long-standing client of Sotheby’s, confirmed they would go ahead with the £1.04m purchase.
Mr Lewis, the 55-year-old owner of what is now Wales’ most famous garage, only found out what had happened when he was a picture on Facebook and thought "that looks a bit like my garage".
"I showed it to my son and he agreed, so I went out and had a look and there it was," he said.
For the rest of the night, he and his brother-in-law, Wayne Jenkins, took it in turns to keep watch over what is the first Banksy piece in Wales.
The police turned up later, and fencing was put up around the garage.
Mr Lewis’s partner, Julia, said someone had already offered her £25,000 for the garage.
"He came up to me and said he would give me £20K and I just laughed, and straight away he said £25K," she said.
Banksy’s most expensive piece, Keep It Spotless, sold for $1.7 million in 2008.
Samantha Killip, editor of design publication DesignCurial, said: "Any artwork will definitely increase the value of the garage, especially considering the time of year and content, which makes it very relevant.
"I don’t think anyone could put an exact value on it, especially as Banksy has expressed a distaste for anyone trying to sell his work, which is not the point of his work."
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