Superstar graffiti artist Banky quietly set up a booth to sell his signed art on Central Park South on Saturday.
Although the neighborhood is usually crowded with tourists and New Yorkers out for a stroll, no one suspected the artworks were the real deal. Banksy set up his stand at 11:15 a.m. and did not make his first sale until 3:30 p.m. The customer purchased two canvases for her children — but refused to pay the full price of $60 and demanded that the vendor (not Banksy) give her a half-price discount.
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The vendor sold two more paintings to a tourist from New Zealand and four more in the evening to a tourist in Chicago who said, "I just need something for the walls."
The unsuspecting tourists tapped into a goldmine when they bought the canvases: Banksy's artworks typically sell for tens of thousands of dollars. People hoping to score a Banksy original on Central Park South in the future are out of luck. The artist wrote on his website, "This was a one off. The stall will not be there again today."