This ‘Lost’ Banksy Artwork Was Rediscovered on a London Office Building. Now It’s Heading to Auction.

Bansky may be elusive, but one of his pieces may be in your grasp soon enough.

The famed artist’s Holywell Row Happy Choppers will be heading to the block via English auction house Anderson & Garland in March. Bansky painted the street art, which depicts helicopters adorning with quirky pink bows, on the wall of a building in London’s Shoreditch neighborhood in early 2006. Constant crowds swarmed the mural, incessantly triggering the building’s security light; this led the property’s owner to cover the work with black paint and sell the office space. The piece has since been restored and is estimated to fetch between £500,000 and £700,000 ($637,000 and $892,000) at auction.

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Measures six feet by four feet, the artwork was acquired by the building’s new owner, who remains anonymous, after he spotted it in a book titled Banksy Captured, according to ArtNews. Recognizing the image featuring Holywell Row Happy Choppers, he raced to his property to investigate. Once there, he found the mural on the side of his office building, with a small section of a propeller peeking out at the very top of the wall. The owner went on to commission a restoration project to salvage Banksy’s work.

The artwork’s painstaking restoration by the Fine Art Restoration Company took over a year to complete. The process also included the removal of the piece’s three-inch thick render, which displays three large Apache attack helicopters (a recurring motif in Banksy’s creations). This was a challenge given the non-conventional materials used for the mural. Despite this, specialists were able to dissect it into eight sections for careful restoration.

“We were astounded to discover that our office building was the canvas for an artwork of this significance,” the owner said in a statement. “To our knowledge no one had attempted to rescue a fragile work of high-profile street art like this before.”

Anderson & Garland previously sold the artist’s work titled The Merrivale Stable in 2022. Attracting global interest, the piece sold in two minutes for just over £1 million. The auction house was then invited to sell three more works in Banksy’s Wrong War series a year later. “We’re delighted to be able to offer another original and unique work by the elusive artist,” Fred Wyrley-Birch, the company’s director, said in a statement.

The auction house will offer the restored Banksy piece on March 20 during its Spring Country House & Fine Interiors Auction. Perspective buyers will get the chance to view Holywell Row Happy Choppers up close and personal with three viewing days on March 15, 16, and 18. For more details, you can head to the Anderson & Garland website.

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