It would surely be a surprise to wake up just before Christmas and find that the stealth street artist Banksy had visited overnight and left art on your garage. Indeed, steelworker Ian Lewis of Port Talbot on the coast of Wales was overwhelmed by the thousands of visitors who flocked to his home to see the piece titled “Seasons Greetings.”
Lewis has now sold the art for “six figures,” the BBC reports, to gallery owner John Brandler, who has pledged to keep the art in Port Talbot for at least two or three years. Lewis turned down other higher offers in favor of Brandler because he was willing to keep “Seasons Greetings” accessible to locals, the Guardian said.
The image depicts a child happily facing falling snow; looking around the corner of the garage reveals the snow is actually ash from a fire. Banksy posted an Instagram video shortly after the artwork was discovered, confirming it was an original:
“I’m so pleased to have this piece,” Brandler told the Guardian. “It’s not one of his most valuable, but I think it’s one of his most powerful. It’s so 21st century, so poignant. I like his punchy pieces best, and this is one of them.”
After Lewis’s discovery, “some idiot”—a term used by police—tried to attack the artwork, attempting to pull down a protective shield paid for by actor Michael Sheen, who attended college in Port Talbot. Guards had to be posted near the artwork round the clock, and the local council sent in traffic wardens.
Lewis’s garage will be moved, potentially to the center of Port Talbot, and Lewis plans to use the money for a few vacations as well as a replacement for his garage.