An official Banksy stunt, just a regular stunt, or someone who genuinely believes he’s found something special? There’s no way to tell at the moment, following the brief period that, among antiques and worthless Beanie Babies, eBay had an auction featuring “The Identity of Banksy.” In a long, long series of attempts to out the reclusive, mysterious street artist (including this big 2008 effort by the Daily Mail), the person behind the auction claimed to have uncovered his identity and was willing to sell it to the highest bidder. No bids had yet come in when eBay swooped in and removed the auction, so you’ll just have to keep your wallet closed and your knowledge of Banksy’s true identity out of your grasp. Fortunately, before it was removed, IFC‘s blog grabbed the copy included in the listing:
“If you win this auction I will reveal to you the true identity of ‘Banksy.’ I have uncovered his identity by matching up the prices of his sold pieces to corresponding tax records. I will reveal no more details.
The winner of this auction is the only person that I will ever share this information with. I will simply tell you his name. I cannot offer anything more. I give you 100% assurance that it is most certainly the full name of the street artist known as ‘Banksy’.
Seems a bit like a Banksy stunt, though we could tell you right now that Banksy is sitting right next to us and you’d be hard pressed to prove that accurate, too.