Palestinian Family Conned into Selling Banksy Painting for Under $200

Banksy's Niobe grafitti in Gaza. Photo courtesy of the artist.

A Palestinian man has claimed that his family was duped into selling a Banksy mural painted on the door of their destroyed home drastically under market value, the BBC reports.

Rabie Darduna told the BBC that a local man claiming to represent the artist paid him $175 for the mural, which depicts the Greek god Niobe mourning her children.

Banksy visited Gaza in February to paint a series of politically-charged murals (see Banksy Heads to Gaza to Support the Palestinian Cause).

Durduna admitted that he and his family were angry about the sale and were struggling to come to terms with being duped. “Really we’re depressed. It’s a matter of fraud,” he alleged. However the buyer insists that there was nothing illegal about the transaction.

A similar mural that the artist has painted on a wall of a social club in Bristol, England was sold for $670,000 to an anonymous private collector (see Sale of Banksy’s Mobile Lovers for $670,000 Saves Youth Club).

Banksy’s Gaza artworks also include images of children swinging from an Israeli surveillance tower, and a kitten playing with scrap metal as if with a ball of wool.

The British street artist announced via a representative that he believes the painting should be returned to Durduna and his family.

Referring to his stay in Gaza the artist explained in a video “If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful—we don’t remain neutral.”

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