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Saturday Sept. 3, 2011 10:00 AM (EST+7)
West Bank Banksy works 'harvested' for US gallery

Read more: art, graffiti, Banksy, culture, New York, private sector

RAMALLAH, September 3 (JMCC) - Two pieces of graffiti art claimed to have been created by the elusive artist Banksy in the West Bank have found their way to a swanky New York gallery, where they are being sold for nearly half a million dollars each.

According to Gawker, this latest case of harvesting Banksy artwork from the streets where it was originally created has stirred a major controversy in the art world.

The pieces — one, called Wet Dog, features the image of a dog shaking itself dry, the other, Stop and Search, features a little girl in a pink dress patting down a soldier — have now resurfaced far, far away from their original home in the Palestinian territories. They are on display, literal chunks of wall cut out of the sides of buildings and bus shelters, in a show called Banksy: Original Street Works at the Keszler Gallery in the Hamptons.

Did a Hamptons Art Dealer Steal Banksy Works From the West Bank? Banksy harvesting is certainly nothing new, but the scope of this effort, detailed exhaustively in this promotional video [view at left] released by Keszler, is certainly unprecedented, as is the gallery's sheer brazenness in showing and selling these thought-provoking works that were so clearly meant for public consumption in an area of the world desperately in need of some thought-provocation. So what gives, exactly? Are these works even real? Was Banky, forever the provocateur, perhaps behind this entire endeavor? We approached Pest Control, Banksy's art world proxy, for some answers.

The show certainly isn't sanctioned, a Banksy rep told Gawker. We have no idea if these works are real or not as they are taken out of their original context, and we have not see them to be able to verify.

According to one report, the works were actually taken by Palestinian entrepreneurs, who then sold them to the Keszler Gallery.






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