Brooklyn-based eBay user ‘jaybuysthings’ is promising to send the winning bidder a piece of paper with the artist’s real name written on it, which they claim to have discovered through studying tax records.
They are giving “100% assurance” that the name will be that of the famous street artist, whose celebrity fans include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Bidding began at $3,000 and so far 38 bids have been placed, with the highest offer currently standing at $999,999.000. The auction ends on 19 January at 3pm.
In the listing the seller states: “If you win this auction I will mail you a piece of paper revealing the true identity of “Banksy”. (sic)
“I have uncovered his identity by matching up the prices of his sold pieces to corresponding tax records. I will reveal no more details.
“The winner of this auction is the only person I will ever share this information with. The piece of paper will say his name, nothing more.
“I give you 100% assurance that it is most certainly the full name of the street artist known as “Banksy.” ”
They also state that eBay originally ended the auction due to the item not being ‘tangible’.
The seller has been registered with the auction site since August 2000 and has a 100% positive rating based on a modest 94 reviews. Their previously sold items consist mainly of books, records and electrical goods.
Bristol-born Banksy is the world’s most renowned graffiti artist, with his paintings and sculptures commanding up to £100,000 at auctions.
In 2009 he staged his biggest-ever exhibition at the Bristol museum, with 100,000 people flocking to view over 100 works.
The artist recently turned his hand to film-making with his debut feature, Exit Through The Gift Shop, nominated for the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer BAFTA.
His identity has remained one of the most closely-guarded secrets in the art world despite numerous attempts by the media to expose him.
However, the seller’s studying of tax records may not be the most effective way of discovering his name, as Banksy’s website states that not all work sold corresponds to the artist himself.
It says: “Banksy neither produces or profits from the sale of greeting cards, mugs or photo canvases of his work.
“He is not represented by any of the commercial galleries that sell his work second hand.”