Rats Rip off Banksy Rat

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A group of enterprising young malefactors recently made off with one of British guerilla artist Banksy‘s most famous images: the Gloucester Gardens rat (pictured). Tagged long before Banksy established himself as one of the world’s most inventive (and adventurous) artists, the rat became a cherished part of the neighborhood. Looking to make a buck, however, some unknown scamps cut it out of the wall and put it up for auction on eBay. Resident Marion Lau-Mackaay laments to The Daily Mail:

For the sake of a few thousand pounds, someone has removed a much-loved part of the wall.

My six-year-old son loved it so much he did a painting of it after he heard it had gone and sent it to Banksy with a letter saying, ‘I hopes this makes you feel better’.

Though eBay’s removed the £20,000 item, police don’t seem too interested. Lau-Mackaay’s neighbor, David Hopwood says, “I complained to the police but they said as it wasn’t a robbery or an assault, they couldn’t help. Westminster council was disinterested.”

One can’t help but wonder what the thieves will do with the wall. If it weren’t stolen, we’d suggest they take it to Sotheby’s for their February 7th auction, where some of Banksy’s work may go for up to $98,000. Oh well. Look at this way: you’ve got a great conversation piece.