A Palestinian man says he has been tricked into selling a valuable piece of work by UK street artist Banksy for just $175.
The artist’s identity is unknown but he has been responsible for works which can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Banksy is believed to have ventured into Gaza through a tunnel and left behind four murals. These include an image depicting the Greek goddess Niobe cowering in the rubble.
The painting, titled “Bomb Damage” was drawn on the metal door that formed the last remaining part of a two-storey house belonging to the Dardouna family.
Rabie Dardouna said he has been tricked into selling the door to a local artist for a cut-price fee – but having been told of its true value, he is now demanding the decorated door is returned.
Dardouna said: ‘”I did not know that it was this valuable. I heard it can be sold for millions [in local currency]. Now I want the door back.”
Meanwhile the Gaza artist who bought the door, Belal Khaled, said he did not mean to trick anyone, had no intention of profiting from the purchase and simply wanted to protect the painting.
“’I bought the painting to protect its artistic value and preserve it from damage,” he said.
“Another reason is to display it in other places as well. I don’t have any monetary interest in this.”
Khaled added that he has been in touch with Banksy’s representatives, hoping for permission to showcase the mural.