Banksy mural fetches $209K at California auction

Posted: 12/06/13 at 10:40 am EST      Last Updated: 12/06/13 at 12:10 pm EST

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- A mural stenciled on the side of a Hollywood gas station five years ago by the British street artist Banksy has fetched more than $200,000 at a Beverly Hills auction.

The 9-by-8 foot "Flower Girl" artwork sold for $209,000 on Thursday at an auction that featured nearly 100 works by more than 30 artists, according to the Los Angeles Times. The winning bid came from a Los Angeles buyer who requested anonymity.

The mural shows a little girl holding a flower basket under the eye of a surveillance camera planted atop a tall stalk.

The seller of the mural was Eytan Rosenberg, former owner of a gas station, who had allowed a group of three street artists to paint something on its white brick wall.

Rosenberg sold the gas station last year and painstakingly removed the artwork and installed it in a sturdy aluminum frame. He and his sister want to use the money from the sale to build a car wash.

Banksy, who refuses to reveal his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England. He is known for his silhouetted figures and spray-painted messages.

The highest known price for a Banksy work is about $1.1 million for a mural called "Slave Labor" that was auctioned in London in June.

Banksy's work has caught the eye of A-list Hollywood celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who recently bought a smaller piece for $1 million.

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