Newcastle sale of 'rediscovered' Bansky set to attract crowds

An original Bansky helicopter scene which has been restored after being 'painted over' is to go up for auction at Anderson & Garland in Newcastle - and could fetch £700,000

Happy Choppers

Banksy fans are in with a rare chance to buy an original artwork by the elusive street artist which will be going up for auction in Newcastle - but they may need a spare half-million or more.

In March, Anderson & Garland will be selling Happy Choppers - featuring Apocalypse Now-type Apache helicopters which are recurring images in Banksy's art - and the auction house will first host three viewing days for people to see the work which could fetch an estimated £500,000-£700,000. And it has quite a story behind it.

The famously secretive Banksy painted it in early 2006 on the wall of a building in London's Shoreditch area and it was documented by his so-called 'partner-in-crime' Steve Lazarides in the first volume of the Banksy Captured book. But then it was painted over by the building's owner who feared it would create a security problem.

The building was later sold and it was only when the current owner was leafing through a book featuring Banksy art locations - a Christmas gift for his son - that he recognised one of the areas shown and realised a Banksy must be on his building. He raced there to investigate but the section of wall had since been painted black.

But to his huge excitement, he spotted - at the very top of the wall - a small section of propellor. The owner, who is now selling the art and wishes to remain anonymous, said: “After discovering such an important work, we wanted to ensure the integrity of the piece, so approached restoration specialists to find the best way of preserving it for generations to come.
"To our knowledge, no one had attempted to rescue a fragile work of high-profile street art like this before. As the piece had been painted on render, after several abortive attempts the decision was made to remove it in sections by specialists."
The result is now a painstakingly-restored artwork which has been authenticated and valued by experts at Newcastle's Anderson & Garland. The auctioneers previously sold another Banksy original, called The Merrivale Stable, in a record-breaking sale in 2022 which attracted worldwide interest and saw it snapped up for just over £1m within two minutes.
The auction house was invited to sell three more works in Banksy's Wrong War series the following year. Now Happy Choppers will be a highlight of its Spring Fine Art Auction taking place on March 20.

It first will go on public view in its city saleroom on March 15, 16 and 18. Fred Wyrley-Birch, director ofAnderson & Garland, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer another original and unique work by the elusive artist Banksy.

"With our recent success in selling his Merrivale Stable, which fetched £1m including fees, we are uniquely placed to bring this highly-desirable piece to market." He added: "The work carries an auction estimate of £500,000-£700,000."

More details of the upcoming sale are set to be released in coming weeks.


Credit - Chronical Live: VIEW FULL STORY




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