GAZA — A Palestinian man is lamenting his misfortune after selling his bombed-out doorway to a local artist without realizing that the image painted on it was by Banksy and could be worth a small fortune.
Rabea Darduna, a father of six from northern Gaza, said he sold the iron and brick doorway of his destroyed house to a local man who offered him 700 shekels for it, or about $175. Pieces by Banksy, a British street artist who is famed for his ironic murals in unexpected places, regularly sell for more than $500,000.
"I had no idea what the value of the painting was or who this Banksy is," a frustrated Darduna told Reuters by telephone. "I want to get it back first, and then I can look at offers," he said, saying his house had been destroyed in last year's war and he needed money for rent and his family.
The man who bought it, graffiti artist and journalist Belal Khaled, said he told Darduna the painting was by Banksy but that it didn't seem to register.
"I bought the door to preserve the painting and protect it from being removed, spoiled or destroyed," he told Reuters, adding that he had followed Banksy for a number of years and was inspired by his work. Khaled said he had no plans to give the door back and no plans to sell it "at present."
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