Liverpool street artist claims he created Banksy piece that sold for £250k at auction

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The piece was cut out from a wall in Liverpool and featured on a new Channel 4 TV show.

A Banksy removed from a wall in Liverpool and sold at auction for £250,000 is a fake. That’s according to Merseyside street artist Silent Bill, who claims he is the real creator behind the stencilled picture of a rat.

The image was removed from the wall of 1 Rumford Street in Liverpool city centre by persons unknown in the last year. It sat below Banksy’s Love Plane artwork, which was removed from the same wall in 2016.

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Anonymous artist Silent Bill, who is thought to be from the Wirral, insists the image of a rat next to the words ‘never liked this Banksy‘ was put in place around 2013 and is a homage to Banksy’s Never liked the Beatles piece.

The artwork featured on Channel 4’s new TV show The Greatest Auction this week and doubts over its authenticity were raised by their experts. Despite the debate, well known Banksy dealer Robin Barton went ahead and outbid a rival collector from Dubai to win the piece.

A picture of Banksy’s ‘Love Plane’ and the disputed Rat graffiti. A picture of Banksy’s ‘Love Plane’ and the disputed Rat graffiti.
A picture of Banksy’s ‘Love Plane’ and the disputed Rat graffiti.

Silent Bill told The Guardian: “It’s well known within the lower echelons of the street art scene that the Never liked this Banksy piece was my homage to Banksy, in reference to his Never liked the Beatles piece.”

Banksy collector Barton told Ch4: “In this instance, my reputation is on the line … I got what I wanted. I wouldn’t have gone a penny over that so I got it and I’m taking it home."

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Authenticity: The experts on The Greatest Auction were split, with some questioning the style of the lettering. Others believed it was a genuine Banksy. Silent Bill claims to be the real creator and says the rat is one of a number of works featured in a self-published book of his art.

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