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Two Banksy pieces from the West Bank now for sale in the Hamptons

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Sketchy provenance (no pun intended) in the art world is nothing new — people have been flat-out stealing pieces for pleasure or profit for millennia — but recent changes in laws and policies have worked to make such things less common. (Don't worry, though, Metropolitan Museum of Art: lots of grandfathering! And Greece has bigger things to worry about.) Of course, graffiti art — especially highly sought-after graffiti art like Banksy's — poses some new problems. Should we work to keep pieces in the locations they appear? Can a city or property owner paint over it if they want? Will it just be first come, first serve for galleries?

If this story is any indication, that last question gets a hearty "yes!" Because two Banksy pieces which originally appeared in the West Bank, "Wet Dog" (above) and "Stop and Search," are suddenly for sale (at over 400K each) at a gallery in the Hamptons. How the pieces got there is a twisty tale of shipping to and fro, involving at least a few different owners. (You can read a more detailed report here.) And look! The gallery was kind enough to put together a video about the pieces' journey on its own:

Pest Control, the group that authenticates Banksy works, won't say if these are real because they only confirm such things when pieces are in their original locations. And maybe everything the gallery did was on the up-and-up; it can be hard to tell with these things. The real point is this: if you're really rich, you can now have a lovely piece of art completely devoid of original context and much of its power! Yay!