Gaza Man Wants 'Refund' After Selling Banksy Door

A Gaza Arab claims that a local artist “duped” him into selling an “original Banksy” for NIS 700, when it is likely worth much more.

Moshe Cohen ,

Banksy graffiti (file)
Banksy graffiti (file)

A Palestinian Arab in Gaza claims that a local artist “duped” him into selling an “original Banksy” - a door scrawled with graffiti drawn by the celebrated tagger – for far less than it was worth.

Rabie Dardouna, 33, said Tuesday that he was paid just NIS 700 – about $175 – for the door, although, like other “works” by the British artist, it is likely worth far more. Banksy creations routinely sell for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Graffiti artist Banksy, who is celebrated around the world for his original creations, and well-known for his ultra-left political views, visited Gaza last month in the wake of Operation Protective Edge. As with many others of his political persuasion, Banksy – whose real name is not known and who eschews being photographed – made much of the damage the IDF did to Gaza during the war, but did not relate to the its cause, the firing of thousands of rockets on Israel by Hamas over the past several years, as well as to the use of homes and apartments of ordinary Gazans to attack Israel, guaranteeing an IDF response.

The door was attached to the home of Dardouna, which was badly damaged in Israel Air Force bombing during the war.

According to Dardouna, a local artist called Belal Khaled purchased the door, which was emblazoned with an image from Greek mythology. Speaking to news agencies, Khaled said that he had recognized the work as Banksy's, but had not intended to “cheat” Dardouna – and that he had bought the door in order to “preserve” it, and that he planned to display it in art galleries in Gaza.

Not so, said Dardouna; the purchaser told him that he was paying more than it was worth, and that he was lucky to be making a deal. “I did not know that it was this valuable. I heard it can be sold for millions,” Dardouna told reporters. “Now I want the door back.”