A Banksy piece that remains on a wall for more than 48 hours is a rarity these days. Dealers know that collectors will dig deep into their purses and pockets to own work by the elusive street artist, so they go to great lengths to acquire the pieces before their competition. It's still not clear how ownership is determined for illegal street art, but the name of the game seems to be speed and dollar signs.

The Independent was granted behind-the-scenes access by the Sincura Group, the concierge company that handled the removal of Banksy's "Girl With Red Balloon" piece, and they found that the process is more involved and just as expensive as we thought:

  • First, scaffolding went up and a professional art restorer "stabilized" the wall, 
  • then they waited a week for a special diamond-blade chainsaw to arrive. Dust machines and acrows were also set up for the delicate operation.
  • When the cutting begins, it takes two weeks with the chainsaw and a circular saw.
  • Finally, seven men lifted the heavy section of wall onto a flatbed truck and take it to a team of six restorers in a temp-controlled, undisclosed location.

When it's all said and done, close to £70,000 has been spent just to get the piece ready for auction, but that's a small investment when you consider the going rate for a legit Banksy.

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[via Independent]