Banksy-esque stencil dupes Highgate resident

He is one of the world’s most elusive artists, and his work adorns many a celebrity’s walls, including Brad Pitt and Justin Timberlake to name but a few, and can fetch tens of thousands of pounds.

So when what looked like a Banksy stencil was painted on the side of a boarded up shop in Highgate Road, Highgate, one passer-by obviously thought they would cash in on their luck.

The image of a bespectacled man in a beret was stencilled on to the side of a former Indian restaurant near the junction of Swain’s Lane around three weeks ago.

But it was soon gone, replaced by a plain sheet of corrugated iron.

“I was just walking past when I noticed the picture, which looked a lot like a Banksy,” Highgate resident Ben Lakofeski told Heathman.

“I thought, I bet this won’t last long because it was just painted on to plywood – I thought someone would carry it off.

“And I walked past it again last week and it seems the sketch has been cut out and replaced with a sheet of corrugated iron.”

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But a brief conversation with the famous artist’s dealers revealed that the attractive stencil was in fact an imitation.

It seems that the old adage has once again been proved true – you don’t get something for nothing. Especially if it’s a Banksy.