A SWAT van spray painted by the world’s most famous street artist Banksy could fetch £300,000 at auction.
The second hand the van with its distinctive graffiti stencils mysteriously disappeared after it was the centrepiece of the Bristol artist’s debut US show in 2006.
The artwork depicts heavily armed Special Forces agents being hoodwinked by a small boy on one side, and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz amidst a sea of graffiti tags on the other.
It was shown in an industrial warehouse in downtown Los Angeles as part of the show which also featured a live elephant which he had painted red and gold.
The eccentric show was attended by A-list celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Dennis Hopper and was credited with kickstarting his rise to international fame.
Previous work by the mysterious artist has sold for up to half a million pounds.
Banksy, has a long history of tussling with the police, once saying: “My main problem with cops is that they do what they’re told.
“They say ‘Sorry mate, I’m just doing my job’ all the f***king time.”
The artwork showcases his characteristic stencilling technique, which was inspired by another run in with the police.
While the artist was hiding from the police under a rubbish lorry, he noticed the stencilled serial number, and decided to use the technique to allow him quick getaways.
The van has now resurfaced and is to be auctioned at Bonhams with an estimate of £200,00 to £300,000.
Ralph Taylor, Senior Director of Bonhams Post-War and Contemporary Art department, said: “All of Banksy is on show here: his bravado, his imagination, his technical prowess, his confidence and his willingness to put his head above the parapet and use truth as a weapon.”
The auction takes place at New Bond Street on June 24.