Incredibly Rare Early Banksy Mural From 1998 Will Be Auctioned in Paris

The estimate for the mural is between £300,000 and £400,000 ($445,000 and $593,400). Photo: Art Daily

A mural by the elusive British street artist Banksy is set to hit the auction block in Paris on June 1, Artlyst reports. The mural depicts soldiers in a raft with a helicopter overhead, and reads: “It’s better not to rely too much on silent majorities for silence is a fragile thing. One loud noise and it’s gone.”

More than 10 meters wide, Silent Majority (1998) was sprayed on the side of a truck and offers a unique glimpse of the artist’s early work. Unlike the majority of Banksy’s contemporary graffiti, the mural was painted freehand and features very little stencil use.

The work, which comes with a certificate of authenticity from Banksy’s “Pest Control” team, is expected to fetch between £300,000 and £400,000. The work was the only authenticated piece at the controversial Stealing Banksy auction, which was eventually scrapped in April last year (see “Sensitively Salvaged” Banksy Artworks to Be Auctioned in London).

Marielle Digard, of Digard Auction, said in a statement: “This is a piece from the very beginning of Banksy’s career. It’s scale and history makes it a true original.”

Silent Majority was painted in 1998 at Glastonbury Festival as a graffiti shown outside the dance tent, done over three days,” explained the consigners of the piece. “Banksy asked us if he could use the side of the lorry as a large blank canvas.”

“We’ve seen some incredible works by Banksy on the market in the last few years,” Mary McCarthy, a street art expert, said. “However, I think in terms of provenance and uniqueness, this one tops them all. For me what is quite special about this piece is it’s one of the few freehand pieces on the market. This one really is a rare piece,” she added.

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